Falcons: Best free agent remaining at each position of need

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It’s finally June 2nd, which is a significant day for the Falcons because they are now back in the market for free agents after receiving the $10.75 million from cutting Desmond Trufant earlier this offseason. That leaves them with just under $11 million in cap space. However, a substantial chunk of that will be spent on signing their rookie class along with their practice squad. They still should have about $5 million to spend in free agency, which opens up some intriguing possibilities because the Falcons could always sign a better free agent to a multi-year contract and backload the deal, allowing them to stay under the salary cap in 2020. But I’m going to keep this list realistic. Atlanta doesn’t have enough money even to consider a star like Logan Ryan or Jadeveon Clowney, but most everyone else is on the table. 

Offensive Guard – Larry Wafford

The Falcons only have one offensive need left on their roster, and that’s at left guard. Right now, they have quite the competition brewing between Jamon Brown, James Carpenter, Matt Hennessy, and Matt Gono. However, if they wanted to make sure the offensive line will have no holes, they could bring in Wafford. He is reportedly looking for $7 million in free agency, but it’s June, and he’s still yet to be signed. Perhaps the Falcons could work something out with him if he were interested in some revenge on his former team. However, Atlanta is probably more worried about their concerns on the defensive side than on offense. 

Cornerback – Darqueze Dennard

As of now, the Falcons’ most glaring need is at cornerback. They have an intriguing group, featuring three youngsters — Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield, and rookie A.J. Terrell. Maybe there’s a chance that those three could be fantastic starters this season, but the Falcons need to prepare for the worst. The best teams always have five or six reliable corners. Atlanta isn’t even sure if they have one. They also lack a veteran presence. Bringing in a corner like Dennard should make Dan Quinn and Raheem Morris feel much better about their secondary group, and he should be affordable. 

Linebacker – Nigel Bradham

The Falcons may feel comfortable at linebacker after the signing of Deone Buccannon, but if they aren’t, Nigel Bradham remains the best player to fill the need. The former Eagle started in 12 games last year, racking up 61 tackles. 

EDGE – Everson Griffen

The Falcons added Dante Fowler Jr. this offseason, and he will be an upgrade over Vic Beasley. Rookie Marlon Davidson should add some to the pass rush as well, but Atlanta is fooling themselves if they believe that is enough to fix what has been a problem for over a decade. Adding a stud like Everson Griffen might do the trick, however. There’s no way the Falcons could sign him to a one-year deal, as he should command somewhere around $8 million, but they could work out a backloaded multi-year contract with him, with all the guaranteed money coming in the first two years. It obviously comes with a little more risk, but Griffen has remained a reliable pass rusher for years and would finally fix the Falcons pass-rushing issues. 

 

 

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