This ESPN hypothetical trade has DK Metcalf landing with the Falcons

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The Falcons are desperate for wide receiver help. Some might point to Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson as options to mitigate the abysmal receiver room, but we already saw that. Last season, Matt Ryan had Calvin Ridley for a handful of games and Russell Gage for only the latter half of the season. For the most part, Ryan’s only options were Pitts and Patterson, and it didn’t go well. Atlanta has to add more pass catchers.

One potential option is Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf, who has been rumored to be available despite John Schneider and Pete Carroll having said they intend for him to be with Seattle. Still, members of the media can’t help themselves by pointing out how similar events unfolded before Russell Wilson was traded to the Broncos.

Metcalf is in the final year of his rookie deal that’ll pay him just under $4 million in 2022 and is eligible for a contract extension. He has 3,170 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns since Seattle drafted him at the end of Round 2 in 2019. Despite the organization’s claims they don’t plan on shopping him, ESPN has to make a dollar off the possibility. In a simulated trade market, they have the Falcons making an offer.

Michael Rothstein’s offer: The Falcons would trade 2022 second- and fifth-round picks (Nos. 58 and 151), along with a 2023 fourth-round pick.

Inside the offer: The Falcons desperately need wide receivers — their current starters are Auden Tate and Olamide Zaccheaus — and young talent as they begin to rebuild after the Matt Ryan era ended in March. This deal would take away some capital for 2022 that could hurt in the short term, but they would still keep the No. 8 overall pick to get another premier starter.

Adding Metcalf would give the Falcons a proven receiver who is only 24 years old and the type of fast, big-bodied receiver that coach Arthur Smith likes. It would give new quarterback Marcus Mariota a top target to throw to, and the combination of tight end Kyle Pitts and Metcalf would be a chore for any team to stop. While an extension would likely have to be part of this deal, it could also mean Pitts and Metcalf would be a dynamic pairing for the next half-decade, at least. This trade would give Smith another flexible player to work with as he tries to construct the offense in his image.

I can absolutely guarantee a second-rounder won’t get it done. If Seattle is looking for draft compensation, it’ll begin with at least one first-round pick, and that would still be a difficult pill to swallow, given they gave up two firsts for Jamaal Adams a few years ago, who is not as valuable as Metcalf. It also doesn’t make sense for the Falcons to give up any draft assets. They will have to decide whether or not to pay their own star receiver in Calvin Ridley following the 2023 season. Ridley and Metcalf will garner close to or over $20 million AAV in their next deals. One is fine for a rebuilding team; signing both long-term would be financially irresponsible for a team that is digging itself out of cap hell.

Photographer: George Walker/Icon Sportswire

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