It’s no secret that the new GM of the Falcons will be looking to shed some salary. There are some very suspect contracts on this team, and Atlanta can work a lot of breathing room after June 1st — we saw it with Desmond Trufant last season. I’ll be doing an entirely different article on trade candidates, so if you see a name missing, it’s because I think they could actually yield value in return. Figures are via Over The Cap.
EDGE Allen Bailey
Dead Money: $1.625 million
Savings: $4.5 million
Nothing wrong with Allen Bailey, but he’s been ranked in the bottom 20 of the league for edge rushers. He doesn’t provide much in terms of run-defense and only notched 1.5 sacks. At his price tag, I don’t expect him to be on the Falcons for much longer.
IDL Tyeler Davison
Dead Money: $2.43 million
Savings: $2.23 million
I don’t think Tyeler is a bad player, but I don’t care for his contract. His run defense is his specialty, but he was pretty poor in that regard in 2020. Deadrin Senat is still on the roster, and I’d rather roll the dice with a younger and cheaper option. Normally Davison’s savings would be minuscule, and a team would just roster him for the price, but every penny matters this offseason.
Dead Money: $2.42 million
Savings: $4 million
A guy Falcons fans have wanted gone for a while, Carpenter should join Jamon Brown in getting the ax, bringing an end to two terrible free agency signings. Carpenter was actually better in 2020 before an injury, but there’s no way this team can pay him that much considering how cap-strapped they are. It’s better to look to the draft or free agency for another replacement at a much lower cost. Like Davison, you can cut him for about a million less in savings before June 1st — the team may have a sense of urgency and eat the extra money.
EDGE Dante Fowler Jr
Dead Money Post-June 1st: $10.66 million
Savings Post-June 1st: $8 million
I broke down the rest of Fowler’s contract here, and this is a guy you HAVE to wait until Post-June 1st to cut. That’s a lot of dead money, but this signing has been a failure from the jump, and Atlanta should cut their losses while they can. He has been almost absent with only three sacks & 28 pressures (hardy har), as well as being a non-factor in the run game.
Dead Money: $2.125 million
Savings: $6.25 million
Allen has been an integral part of the Falcons secondary for some of the best years in franchise history, but he’s entering the last year of his contract, and his play has declined over the last couple of seasons. With the Falcons tight on cash, there really isn’t a reason they should be paying an aging free safety over $8 million in 2020, especially when he can be cut with a minimal dead cap hit. I expect the Falcons to explore trading him or possibly restructure his contract, but he should be cut if neither of those options works.