Falcons VP of player personnel talks roster building during training camp

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The Falcons are building their roster with not much salary cap space. It’s been the same way for a long time because Atlanta’s front office has long handed out lucrative deals to undeserving players or continued to restructure already bloated deals. The new regime had to undo all of the knots tied by the former. Not that Julio Jones and Matt Ryan didn’t deserve their respective contracts, but the former regime just made decisions with their hearts rather than emotionless ones.

The Falcons are building their roster with one hand tied behind their backs, which forces Fontenot to turn over every rock to see if he can put together a competent team. To do that, the front office has to scrape the bottom of the barrel and squeeze what they can out of players other teams don’t want. Falcons VP of player personnel Kyle Smith spoke with Tori McElhaney on the subject.

“You’re taking about all of the – what we call – bubble guys that may have a chance to get cut,” Smith said. “We’re evaluating them.”

Smith’s comments are directed towards Anthony Rush, who has long been a fringe roster guy until he got to Atlanta. The Falcons desperately needed some beef along the interior defensive line, and Rush provided that. He made several impact plays that resulted in the team giving him a one-year deal to return in 2022.

Rush wasn’t a player on many teams’ radars, but that’s how the Falcons front office is operating. Atlanta has become the island of misfit toys.

“A guy that was cut somewhere else but could come in here and play pretty well for you,” Smith said. “… That’s why you turn over every stone as best you can.”

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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