Falcons: Pro Bowl pass rusher with ties to Terry Fontenot requests trade

NFL: JAN 07 Browns at Bengals

The Falcons have had a dire need for a reliable sack artist for over a decade. It’s been a position the organization just hasn’t been able to get right, whether it be through the draft or free agency.

To make matters worse, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot hasn’t really even taken any significant swings to fix the issue. He’s made some inquiries; Atlanta’s been in on Montez Sweat and Brian Burns, who were recently traded, and they also had their eyes on free agent Danielle Hunter earlier this offseason, but nothing has come to fruition. Eventually, Fontenot is going to have to get aggressive and pull the trigger, and the right trade candidate may have just come available.

Per Adam Schefter, star pass rusher for the Bengals Trey Hendrickson has officially requested a trade out of Cincinnati. The 29-year-old has base salaries of $14.8 million in 2024 and $15.8 million in 2025, and he’s hoping for a little more financial commitment from whoever trades for him.

This just makes too much sense. The Falcons have a glaring need for a pass rusher. An argument could be made they have the worst group of EDGE rushers in the league, and that’s not hyperbole. It’s not something a rookie can fix on his own, either. The Falcons are desperate for a proven commodity, and few are more proven than Trey Hendrickson.

Hendrickson is coming off a career year, racking up 17.5 sacks. To put that in perspective, that would be a Falcons franchise record. He has been to three straight Pro Bowls and has totaled 13.5 sacks or more in three out of the last four seasons.

This is a superstar at the Falcons’ biggest position need, and he also has ties to Terry Fontenot. Trey Hendrickson was drafted in the third round by the Saints in 2017, when Fontenot was the right-hand man to Mickey Loomis. There’s no question Fontenot played a role in bringing him to New Orleans, and now he has a perfect opportunity to reunite with him in Atlanta.

The Falcons have their full allotment of draft picks and are in a healthy standing with the salary cap moving forward. They could easily swing a deal for Hendrickson and subsequently hand him the contract extension he desires. There is absolutely no reason Terry Fontenot shouldn’t be the first one on the phone with Bengals general manager Duke Tobin. Trey Hendrickson could be the saving grace Falcons fans have been praying for since the offseason began.

Photo: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

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