Falcons should be considered suitors for top free agent edge defenders

dmk191215121 min at lac

The Falcons are going to have to address the edge unit this offseason. Behind quarterback and receiver, it’s the third most pressing need in my estimation.

Arnold Ebiketie, DeAngelo Malone, and Lorenzo Carter are under contract, but the prospect of adding a proven commodity through the free agent market has to be attractive for Terry Fontenot.

Atlanta’s GM is set to have around $40 million in cap space, and that figure could rise by $20ish million if the Falcons parted ways with Taylor Heinicke, Jonnu Smith, Mike Hughes, and Carter.

Now, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to cut a player at a position of need, but the idea is to upgrade the current room, and parting ways with Carter with the intention of bringing a more dominant player in should be on the table.

It should be an option because the free agent market is robust with talented edge defenders. The Falcons should be considered suitors for all of the top free agents.

PFF recently did a ‘potential landing spots’ for the upcoming class, and Atlanta wasn’t mentioned, not even once. The Falcons should and probably will be in the mix for all of the top guys.

Josh Allen and Brian Burns are franchise tag candidates but would give the Falcons a consistent pass rush presence off the edge if they somehow hit the market. The Falcons have inquired about Burns in the past, so the interest is there. Danielle Hunter is right there with them too.

There are cheaper alternatives, though. Bryce Huff is a relatively unknown, yet wildly productive player. Jonathan Greenard could be considered in that same breath. Both would be tremendous additions to the Falcons defense.

Chase Young is also set to test free agency. The former No. 2 overall pick hasn’t realized his full potential, but that might be exactly what Terry Fontenot values. One-year mercenaries like Za’Darius Smith and Jadeveon Clowney should be on the table as well.

Josh Uche won’t break the bank and comes from a system in New England where he was asked to play a lot of roles. For the Falcons, under new defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, that could be intriguing.

That’s not even including the next tier of edge defenders like Leonard Floyd, Andrew Van Ginkel, Denico Autry, Dorance Armstrong, Carl Lawson, Derek Barnett, Marcus Davenport, Anfernee Jennings, and others.

As I said, the free agent market is littered with talent, and the Falcons will certainly be acquiring at least one.

Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire

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