Falcons GM on where offseason resources will be allocated

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The Falcons have an extremely young and malleable roster with more cap space than they’ve had in years as well as a third top ten draft pick in a row. Atlanta is finally putting the record-setting and league-leading dead cap behind them. It’s not going to be fixed this offseason, but Terry Fontenot can make exponential improvements to the personnel.

There isn’t a single position group that doesn’t need addressing. Whether it be top-end, starting-caliber talent or depth pieces, every single facet of the team could use bolstering. However, the Falcons finally have the resources to fill those holes.

With the league salary cap in place, Atlanta is set to have the second-most cap space in the NFL, sitting just north of $56 million, but that figure could easily balloon to over $73 million if the team parts ways with Marcus Mariota and Casey Hayward.

However, I’ve tried to temper Falcons fans’ expectations. Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you should make the purchase; it seems simple, right? Well, teams spend cap space all time just because they have it, and it sometimes ends in bad deals. Thankfully, it seems Terry Fontenot realizes that.

“I think every offseason is pivotal,” Fontenot said. “I think every day you come in the building is pivotal. The first offseason we had here was critical and, obviously, we had a different level of resources the first year, second year and now this year. Yet, you have to look at every offseason [like this]. That is critical and you’re going to do the best you can to improve this football team.”

“Just because you have more cap space, the process doesn’t change,” Fontenot said. “We still evaluate all the players, and there are going to be some players that you want to bring in on one-year deals and some players that you’ll have more multi-year deals, but we have to make sure we know exactly who they are as human beings and who we’re bringing into this building.”

As I mentioned, every area on the roster could use an influx of talent, and the overwhelming opinion from the fan base is a large amount of the resources should be allocated to the pass rush. Atlanta’s defense has been one of the worst in the league for the better part of a decade at pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Good news, Falcons fans: Terry Fontenot acknowledged they will be prioritizing the defensive front.

“Whether we’re talking about the backend, the interior, the edge, he has a clear plan for how we want to continue to build this team, but we’re going to always prioritize the front,” Fontenot said. “We just talked about the trenches. That’s where games are won and lost.”

The Falcons could use interior defenders, EDGE defenders, off-ball linebackers, and secondary pieces. All will have a positive effect on the overall pass rush, but I couldn’t agree more with Fontenot’s assessment. The trenches are an often overlooked part of winning football teams because it’s not sexy. That is how you build a sustainable winner, regardless of the surrounding personnel.
Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
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