Falcons: Offensive line free agent targets this offseason

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Matt Ryan is coming off his third season in a row being sacked more than 40 times — 131 sacks since 2018. That grotesquely high figure is due, in part, to Dirk Koetter’s system and Ryan throwing it more. More passing plays=more sacks. Arthur Smith‘s run-centric offense will provide some relief for Matty Ice, but the offensive line still needs bolstering if Atlanta wants their aging veteran as healthy as possible. I am still 100% for drafting Penei Sewell at #4 if he falls, which is a big if, and signing one or two of the prospective interior offensive lineman.

Alex Mack

Mack has made no formal announcement that he is retiring from football. He said before last season, “If we have a really good year and do everything we want, and I feel great, and they want me back again, absolutely, let’s do it again,” in an interview with the late Vaughn McClure. Obviously, the season didn’t go “really good” as per the total regime change. Still, Mack is more than capable of acting as a one-year placeholder if Matt Hennessey isn’t ready. Plus, everybody loves this guy; give him a one-year fully guaranteed $6,000,000, Uncle Terry.

Matt Feiler

The Steelers’ offense surely missed Feiler down the stretch due to an injury. He is 28, possesses valuable positional flexibility, and should be able to perform at a high level throughout the duration of his next contract. Feiler has extensive starting experience with the Steelers at both right tackle and inside at left guard. He could be a day one starter next to Jake Mattews and contribute as a swing tackle in case of injuries. PFF predicts Feiler will get a two-year $12,000,000 contract, which is more than fair in my opinion.

Austin Reiter

Reiter has established himself as one of the best pass-blocking centers in the league, but he is also a well-below average run blocker. This entire article is based on improving the line in any area possible. If Reiter is an upgrade, which he is, over Matt Hennessy at center, you pull the trigger and roll the former third-round pick over to guard. Reiter is projected to earn a two year, $9,500,000 contract — fair value. I mean, just look at how much he protects his quarterback.


Lane Taylor

Taylor is coming off a season where he only appeared in one game; this could provide value for Terry Fontenot. He has performed exceptionally in both pass protection and the running game, but he has missed major time the past two seasons and turns 32 this year. There is obviously a major risk involved when talking about someone like Lane Taylor. 32-years-old coming off a knee injury has all the red flags that should scare a general manager off, but he could make one look like a genius if they give him a chance.

I am more for building an offensive line through the draft rather than free agency, but the aforementioned linemen all provide some element of play the Falcons are missing. Whether it be better pass protection or more positional flexibility, there is something for every Atlanta need.

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