Following another embarrassing loss – this time at home to a much hungrier Tennesse Titans team – the Falcons made an adjustment to their roster by dealing former third-round pick, Duke Riley, and a sixth-round pick to the Eagles for Jonathan Cyprien and a seventh-round selection. Adam Schefter first reported the news about an hour ago.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding Riley when he was drafted out of LSU. He was the fastest linebacker in his class and had a similar career path in college to Deion Jones, who was his teammate and has panned out magnificently in Atlanta. Athletically, they are nearly identical players, but Riley’s measurables never translated to the field. He could not crack the starting lineup in his two-plus seasons with the Falcons despite plenty of opportunities. With Foyesade Oluokon outperforming his draft position, Riley became expendable, and Atlanta’s defense desperately needed safety help after Keanu Neal’s season-ending injury.
Cyprien was initially drafted by the Jaguars 33rd overall out of FIU. He started every game he played for the Jags over the next four seasons (60 total). The Titans picked him up before the 2017 season, where he tallied ten more starts. A knee injury cost him the entire 2018 campaign, but Cyprien was able to make a full recovery and joined the Eagles in August. Like Riley, he didn’t do much for Philadelphia this year, totaling 15 snaps on defense. However, the circumstances have forced the Falcons to search every crack for a possible solution.
After falling to 1-3, both Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn don’t have any time to stand pat. Their seats are among the hottest in football, as the glory days of 2016 are now a distant memory. The message has run stale in the locker room, and it is going to take a drastic turnaround for Quinn to survive into 2020. Is Cyprien enough to jumpstart that turnaround? Probably not, but it is nearly impossible to make an impactful move this early in the season. Many more adjustments will need to be made in-house to prevent 2019 from being another lost year in the Matt Ryan and Julio Jones era.