As big names fly off of the board, there are still some quality free agents out there as day 2 winds down. Atlanta has pretty limited cap space, but with some additional restructures and potential cuts, here are some guys who could make sense for the Falcons.
CB Logan Ryan
The seasoned vet Ryan spent a lot of years in New England before coming to the Titans and ending his old teammate Tom Brady’s reign in New England with a pick-six. Ryan is likely out of Atlanta’s price range – the 29-year-old has expressed interest in a short term contract worth over $10 million. It would feel like a bit of a lateral move from Desmond Trufant.
LB Nigel Bradham
I honestly believe Nigel Bradham will be a Falcon. He makes a lot of sense. Price-wise, he likely won’t cost too much. He was released by Philly – saving $4.5 million against his $5.3 million cap figure. If he’ll come aboard on a “prove it” deal, he could be a solid vet addition to Atlanta’s linebacking corps. Bradham didn’t record a sack last season, but he should come very cheap and would make for good depth. Pairing Bradham with guys like Brandon Carr & Adrian Clayborn is the likely course of action with what little remaining money they have.
G Andrus Peat
Peat is more of a dream signing. A Pro Bowl guard AND taking him from New Orleans? Maybe if the Falcons had that $12 million they spent on Jamon Brown and James Carpenter…
I digress. He’s been an anchor in New Orleans’ run game and only allowed 3 sacks last year. He’s consistently graded in the top 10 for guards by PFF and will get big money somewhere. This is a time where bad signings come back to bite you.
DE Markus Golden
Golden is an interesting guy, and I wouldn’t be opposed to Atlanta picking him up. He had 10 sacks last season and 12.5 in 2016, but injuries have prevented him from truly breaking out. A one-year incentive laced deal would be perfect if he’s interested. If he can stay healthy, watch out for this guy.
DE Everson Griffen
I already talked about Griffen here, sadly I don’t think he’s a player the Falcons can afford. It’s a shame because he’s absolutely perfect for this Atlanta team. He’s a veteran presence with 74.5 career sacks under his belt, and would likely be a John Abraham type presence for a young defense.
DT Ndamukong Suh
I’m pretty opposed to Atlanta signing this guy. He’s notoriously overpaid and a dirty player. Regardless, he’s out there, and even after only getting 2.5 sacks last year (a career-low), somebody will pay him. It won’t be the Falcons.
CB Brandon Carr
I’ve discussed Carr in depth a bit here already, but he’s a solid cover corner who isn’t super flashy but gets the job done. He’s going to be consistent wherever he goes, and this Falcons secondary could use a stabilizer – especially at his expected price.
DT Dontari Poe
A Dontari Poe reunion has been discussed among Falcons fans, and he’d be a quality depth piece up the middle behind Grady Jarrett and Tyeler Davison. Since Dan Quinn has shown he likes to roll with 5 defensive linemen (for some reason), Poe would make an excellent force up the middle.
DE Jabaal Sheard
Unfortunately, Sheard is another guy we can likely file under the “too expensive for what he gives you” category. He’s a pretty consistent 5-8 sack guy, but those guys tend to get overpaid in today’s league. Coming off of a 2/$11 million deal then a 3/$25 million deal at his last two stops in New England and Indy, he won’t be giving out any discounts.