Terry Fontenot knows that he will be pushed up against the cap this offseason, but after restructures and some additional cuts, Atlanta should have a decent amount of money to play with in free agency This team has needs all over the roster, and while I’ll be releasing my free agency big board right before March 17th, I figured I would list five names that I could see the Falcons having a lot of interest in. Contract projections are via PFF and Over the Cap.
QB Tyrod Taylor (two years, $10 million)
I wrote about how Taylor would be the perfect backup quarterback, and even if the Falcons do select a quarterback at four, he makes sense at this price point.
Taylor isn’t a gamebreaker, but he is very good at taking care of the football — he had the lowest turnover rate over his first two seasons in Buffalo among qualified quarterbacks. That’s where the value lies with Taylor, he isn’t going to win you any games — but he won’t lose you games in a pinch either. He can make plays with his legs and take care of the football, something the Falcons could use in a backup role. Even if Atlanta does draft a quarterback, Taylor still fits. He kept the seat warm for both Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert in his last two stops, so he has mentored successful young quarterbacks.
RB Jamaal Williams (two years, $6 million)
I just love Jamaal Williams as a low-cost running back addition. While Aaron Jones will get big money, I think Williams is a much better bargain. Even though he is a bruising back, he still averaged 4.2 yards per carry in 2020 and is good at catching the ball out of the backfield. I also think he compliments Ito Smith very well. It’s still possible that Atlanta could draft a running back at the top of the second round, but Williams would allow them to select a player at a more premium position.
TE Mo Alie-Cox (two years, $6 million)
I love what Mo Alie-Cox could bring to the Falcons, on and off of the field. Not only is he a freak athlete and a terrific blocker, but he also would be an insurance policy for Atlanta, especially if they decline Hayden Hurst‘s fifth-year option. Along with being an elite blocker, he could develop into a receiving threat under Arthur Smith with his athletic profile.
TE Anthony Firsker (two years, $9 million)
Speaking of former Smith tight ends, Firsker makes a lot of sense for Atlanta as well. I’d rather have Alie-Cox, but he is a restricted free agent. Firsker doesn’t have the blocking ability of Alie-Cox, but he is much more polished as a pass-catcher, can be used as a fullback, and has familiarity with Arthur Smith. For the price, Atlanta could do much worse.
C David Andrews (three years, $18 million)
Andrews is one of the more expensive names on this list, but I think he is incredibly valuable at $6 million per season. He is consistent, well-rounded, and tends to play mistake-free football. This is actually a very good market for centers, so the Falcons could consider names like Austin Reiter, Nick Martin, Austin Blythe, or plenty of others. However, at only 28 years old, I’d be very pleased with giving David Andrews this money over three seasons.