Falcons top free agent deals among ‘worst contracts signed this offseason’

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The Falcons stormed out of the free agent gates, agreeing to more than $200 million in deals with Kirk Cousins and Darnell Mooney.

Depending on your geographical location, you have two different reactions to those deals. If you’ve got a 678/404/770 area code, they’re fine deals. If you’re from New Orleans, Tampa Bay, or anywhere else, they’re overpaid players

In some ways, everyone is correct. If you ask Bleacher Report, Mooney’s three year contract worth $39 million with $26 million guaranteed is not only a bad deal, but it’s one of the worst contracts signed this offseason.

Almost an identical deal to the one Davis signed in Jacksonville, except even more guaranteed money for a less proven player.

The Falcons probably won’t have to put a ton on Darnell Mooney’s shoulders, but that’s just another reason this is far too much money for a guy who has been held to fewer than 500 yards in each of the last two seasons while scoring just three touchdowns over the course of both campaigns.

Sure, he’ll have more support in Atlanta, but there’s a good chance we saw the 26-year-old at his best earlier in his career.

On the surface, they’re right. $13 million per year for a guy coming off a 414-yard campaign is quite rich, right? Well, it’s not that simple. Teams don’t give players contracts because of what they did in the past. They are focused on the future.

In 13 starts, Justin Fields completed just 61.4% of his passes and less than 200 yards per game last year. Of course, Mooney wasn’t going to put up gaudy numbers. Fields started 15 games the year prior, averaging less than 150 yards per game on 60.4% passing. Less than 150 yards per game to go around for all of Chicago’s pass catchers.

Darnell Mooney is being paid $13 million per year because Kirk Cousins gets his guys the ball. In Minnesota, WR2s regularly reached 800 yards in a season. Moreover, the advanced metrics back up Mooney’s situation with bad quarterback play. Among top free agents from this year’s offseason, he ranked third at getting open vs. single man coverage.

Additionally, 40% of his deep targets have been inaccurate, while his new quarterback is on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Mooney isn’t the only one, Kirk Cousins’ contract is also under fire. Most believe the Falcons made the move of the offseason, inking the veteran to a massive $180 million deal, but not Pro Football Network, which Chase talked about. We’ll see who is right, but I tend to think Terry Fontenot, who has done his best work in free agency, hit one out of the park this offseason.

Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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