Legal tampering is set to begin Monday, where teams can begin speaking to agents of free agents and agree to handshake deals. Then on Wednesday, the new league year begins — agreed upon contracts can be made official at 4 pm. However, teams can re-sign in-house free agents before they hit the open market, and it seems the Falcons are trying with one of their own.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Terry Fontenot is trying to avoid a bidding war over Foye Oluokun, getting him off the market before he can even hit it.
Atlanta has made progress in efforts to extend linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, who is one of the biggest risers in free agency. The Falcons are pushing to re-sign him before Wednesday, and he should cost well above $10 million per year. Oluokun was highly productive for the Atlanta defense with a league-leading 192 combined tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and six pass deflections.
Obviously, a player of his caliber, you’d like to re-sign them every single time. Oluokun is an ascending player and has the intangibles that align exactly with what the Falcons brass wants. However, a price tag ‘well above $10 million’ is concerning.
With Deion Jones set to account for $20 million against the Falcons cap, Atlanta doesn’t exactly have the funds to pay another off-ball linebacker that kind of money. Of course, contracts can be structured to backload the money where his cap hit won’t be too ridiculous in 2022.
I’m still hesitant about giving someone like Foye a deal worth $15 million per year because he undoubtedly performed better than his counterpart, but I felt it wasn’t warranting of that kind of money. There is a point to be made about his play being a product of the defense as a whole, which would improve if the talent around him did.
Regardless, we should hear something about Foye’s contract very soon if the Falcons retain him.
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