Falcons: Offensive cut candidates; free agent candidates (Part 1)

dkr19111730 atlanta at carolina

This is a four-part series on the potential cut candidates that could be cap casualties and the free agents that could be signed this offseason to replace them. With new general manager Terry Fontenot’s pro personnel background, free agency may prove to be more fruitful than the draft. Part one will be offensive cuts; part two will be offensive free agents; part three will be defensive cuts; part four will be defensive free agents.

Starting on Atlanta’s offensive side is logical because we know what Arthur Smith’s offense needs, but the Falcons have yet to name a defensive coordinator.

Using the tools provided by OverTheCap, the contracts of players cut will yield the team’s salary cap room

James Carpenter, G

2021 cap hit: $6,458,333


Let me first start by saying James Carpenter’s 2020 season was much improved from his 2019 campaign, but Carpenter was still wildly inconsistent in both phases — pass and run blocking. He allowed three sacks this year and committed no penalties, which is a serviceable level of play. However, it wasn’t the stat sheet where Carpenter disappointed. He would have a great game, as seen in Brandon Thorn’s video. But then do something embarrassing, as seen in Jon Ledyard’s video.

Overall, Carpenter is an underwhelming run blocker coupled with unreliable pass protection. He is a liability in passing situations, which is concerning but can be overlooked. However, with a run-centered offense like Arthur Smith’s, run-blocking is a necessary skill that Carpenter just doesn’t possess. Designating him a June 1st cut would save the Falcons over $5 million in 2021.

This is a shortlist on the offensive side of the ball, but the offense as a whole doesn’t have many players unworthy of their 2021 salary. The defense is another story. Be sure to be on the lookout for parts two, three, and four.



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