It’s no secret the Falcons have a lot of needs to fill with limited cap space to fill them. According to Over The Cap, the Falcons are almost $7 million in the hole going into the 2022 offseason as far as cap space is concerned, and they only have 52 rostered players. This includes guys signed to future/reserve contracts and practice squad players.
Obviously, there are ways to work around this, and Atlanta will have some money to spend on free agents. How they accomplish that is a different article for another day. For now, I’m going to lay out the priorities that should be at the top of Atlanta’s to-do list. Make no mistake; we’re splitting hairs here — most of these are equally important.
6. Backup Quarterback
While the Falcons do have Feleipe Franks, the undrafted rookie didn’t show much that would inspire he’s ready to take over in case disaster strikes. I was a big proponent of the Falcons picking up Mitch Trubisky last offseason, and he looked pretty good in Buffalo in limited action in 2021. I’d re-up on that take for the right price; he fits a lot of what Arthur Smith likes to do and can at least be a competent backup for a few games if necessary. If you want to know my free-agent rankings for backup quarterbacks available, be sure to check it out.
5. Running Back
The Falcons have Mike Davis and Qadree Ollison going into 2022, and I think they can serve as a competent backfield. Caleb Huntley is in the mix as well. While Cordarrelle Patterson has made it clear he wants to return to Atlanta, that’s nowhere near a sure thing. Regardless, there are usually talented backs available later in the draft. I wanted the Falcons to target Eli Mitchell in this last draft cycle, and I’m willing to bet they spend a later pick on someone if Patterson isn’t brought back. Check out free-agent rankings for running backs available.
4. Swing Tackle
In a semi-surprising move, the Falcons and Matt Gono agreed to part ways after Gono missed the 2021 season playing on a second-round tender. Gono and Jason Spriggs served as reserve tackles, and Spriggs is also an impending free agent. I’m in favor of taking a guy like Max Mitchell out of Louisiana to groom behind Kaleb McGary, who is likely headed for free agency after this season. Check out my free-agent rankings for offensive linemen available.
3. Tight End
Even though the Falcons did take Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick, Lee Smith has retired, and Hayden Hurst is a free agent. Atlanta will need to get some bodies in camp. While I don’t think they have to add anyone above and beyond, Arthur Smith does love his tight ends, and I expect at least two or three to be brought in. Check out my free-agent rankings for tight ends available.
2. Interior Offensive Line
My philosophy for the Falcons addressing the offensive line this offseason is to pony up some cash for one guy, not signing multiple guys that can hopefully fill the void that may be there at left guard or center. Perhaps the Falcons are interested in Jalen Mayfield’s development, but the interior of Atlanta’s offensive line has been a sore spot for a while. There are also some good options in free agency, so check out my free-agent rankings for offensive linemen available.
1. Wide Receiver
If Calvin Ridley is traded, the only rostered receiver for the Falcons will be a 2021 sixth-round pick, Frank Darby. I like a lot of the options in free agency, and I have no bones with bringing back Russell Gage on a cheap deal. Regardless, Atlanta needs more at the position — this is a solid class that should be littered with bargain options. Read my free-agent rankings for wide receivers available.
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