The coronavirus has caused a lot of questions about what the salary cap will be next year. There was supposed to be a substantial spike, but that’s no longer the case with all the projected revenue the league is about to lose, which will cause the cap to decline significantly. That means the Falcons might want to start being much more prudent with their money this year so that extra cap space will roll over into next year. However, with a GM and coach on the hot seat, we should have known that wouldn’t be their top priority. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Falcons have signed cornerback Darqueze Dennard.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 30, 2020
The Falcons are pretty desperate for cornerback help. They drafted A.J. Terrell in the first round, but their three projected starting cornerbacks before this signing have a combined three years of experience. They also don’t have much depth at the position. In a league where passing is the name of the game, it’s hard to win with so many questions in the secondary. Adding a high-quality piece like Dennard should give new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris much more confidence in the group heading into the season.
Dennard was a first-round pick by the Bengals in 2014 after winning the Jim Thorpe award for Michigan State and has played in 77 games for Cincinnati with 24 starts. You might remember when former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis called him the best rookie corner he’s ever seen. Dennard hasn’t quite lived up to that billing, but he’s proven to be a high-quality versatile option that can play on the inside or outside. PFF has graded him as a 68.6 or higher in each of the last three seasons, which was far better than what both Isaiah Oliver or Kendall Sheffield graded last year. This is a fantastic addition to the Falcons defense.