Falcons should explore replacing Kaleb McGary with La’el Collins

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The Falcons need to improve their play in the trenches, particularly at three positions along the offensive line — center, left guard, and right tackle. Given Kaleb McGary‘s tenure in the league, his leash is much shorter than Jalen Mayfield‘s or Matt Hennessy‘s. The two younger players are still developing, but time may be running out on McGary.

The Falcons would be wise to find a long-term solution at right tackle this offseason. Terry Fontenot could have his pick of this tackle class in April’s draft, or he could find a veteran on the free-agent market to take over for McGary. One name that has been floated is La’el Collins, who the Cowboys have been trying to trade in recent days but are likely to release.

ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler gave an update on Collins’ market on Sunday morning.

“With Cooper’s $20 million salary now off Dallas’ books, the Cowboys will get to work on Collins’ trade market,” Fowler said. “The Cowboys and Collins’ camp met midweek and decided he would likely be released if they can’t find a trade partner. The Cincinnati Bengals are one to watch here. They know they must address several pieces along the offensive line but don’t want to overspend on one player. The good news for them is Collins comes with a reasonable $10 million salary and $15.25 million cap hit.”

Collins would give the Falcons a long-term answer at right tackle. His age and production are even more of a reason for Atlanta to inquire, whether that be via trade or signing him once he hits the open market.

Either way, the Falcons can’t go into 2022 with the same five starters protecting Matt Ryan as they did in 2021. McGary wasn’t as bad as Mayfield or Hennessy, but his age and lack of development are pretty concerning.

Photographer: Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire



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