The Falcons are set to have around $60 million in cap space this offseason, and that figure could quickly balloon to over $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 begins a series of potential Falcons free agent targets, beginning with Javon Hargrave.
Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Javon Hargrave
Coming over from Pittsburgh, Hargrave has thrived in Philadelphia, becoming one of the most feared interior pass rushers in football. Outside of Aaron Donald and Chris Jones, there might not be a more productive pass rusher from the inside than Javon Hargrave.
Falcons fans should know him well. In Arthur Smith’s debut, Atlanta took on Philly at home and Hargrave dominated the Falcons’ interior offensive line. Jalen Mayfield was baptized by fire.
Hargrave’s 18.8% pass-rush win rate since 2020 ranks third among all defenders at his position, per PFF. He will be 30 years old for the 2023 season, but the Falcons have invested heavily in Grady Jarrett, who is around the same age. There’s no reason to believe Javon Hargrave can’t maintain this level of play; we’ve seen plenty of players maintain longevity.
During his time with the Steelers and Eagles, Hargrave has played various alignments across the line of the scrimmage. He’d be a versatile piece for whoever coordinates the Falcons’ defense. Grady Jarrett and Javon Hargrave would wreak havoc on opposing interior offensive lines.
Some may knock his run defense, but I’d argue Hargrave’s role dictated the play. I believe the Falcons could ask him to assume multiple roles. He’s a significant reason for the Eagles’ defensive success. After posting a career-high 7.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss a year ago, Hargrave eclipsed those marks with 11 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. He’s set to cash in, and I wouldn’t count out Howie Roseman from re-signing the powerful defender.
Photographer: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire