Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Jamel Dean

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The Falcons are set to have around $56 million in cap space this offseason, and that figure could quickly balloon to nearly $70 million if Atlanta parts ways with Marcus Mariota. There isn’t a single position group that doesn’t need top-end talent or depth. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith are entering a critical juncture in their tenure with more cap space than ever. This continues a series of potential Falcons free agent targets, moving on to Jamel Dean. Below are past editions:

Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Jamel Dean

The Falcons need at least one more starting-caliber cornerback this offseason. A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward are the only starters under contract, and the Falcons could very well part ways with Hayward. He’s an aging talent that just missed a majority of the 2022 season because of injury. If that’s the case, Atlanta would need at least two starters.

With Isaiah Oliver as a candidate to return and man the slot, Jamel Dean makes sense as a free agent target to man the boundary opposite of Terrell. PFF projects Dean to command a four-year, $68 million deal. Depending on how you value Dean, $17 million per year is a bargain. Spotrac projects a similar deal for just over three years instead of four at $16.5 million per year.

There are injury concerns with Jamel Dean, though. If I’m the Falcons, I’m not handing any free agent a lucrative deal unless I’m confident in their availability. Here is what PFF said in their free agent profile:

“Dean takes some risks attempting to jump routes that at times can lead to explosive receptions over the top, but his size, athleticism and physicality at the line of scrimmage enable him to disrupt opposing wide receivers’ releases and will have a lot of teams interested. He doesn’t have great ball skills — though he did snag two interceptions on the year — and can be a bit stiff in the hips, but we’re nitpicking here with a guy who can match up well with a lot of the top big-bodied wide receivers across the NFL.”

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

 

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