The Falcons made more noise on the first day of free agency than the team has in years. Atlanta made Chris Lindstrom the highest-paid guard in the league, traded for Jonnu Smith, and signed Jessie Bates III, David Onyemata, and Kaden Elliss in free agency.
Atlanta came into the offseason with a ton of holes on the roster, and many of those are filled. However, the pass rush still needs addressing, particularly the edge defenders. Lorenzo Carter is a fine rotational piece, but he shouldn’t be counted on to be the guy in that room again.
That’s why this next report makes sense. The Falcons are clearly not satisfied with the position after pursuing former Saints and current Vikings defender Marcus Davenport, according to Mike Garafolo.
Davenport had a few suitors, including the #Falcons and his former defensive coordinator with the #Saints in Ryan Nielsen, but he heads to the #Vikings, who are set to move on from Za'Darius Smith. https://t.co/r8mPL198Dr
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 14, 2023
The deal for Davenport was exactly where I figured it would be — one year, $13 million. If he stays healthy and produces over an entire season, he’ll be in line for a significant payday next offseason. However, if he continues down this road, he could become the next mercenary pass rusher that goes from team to team on one-year deals — like Jadeveon Clowney.
Davenport has been an extremely reliable producer when on the field; injuries have just plagued his career. He’s an effective pass rusher and run defender, likely replacing Za’Darius Smith in Minnesota and working opposite Danielle Hunter. The Falcons may have missed out, but there’s hope.
The Falcons aren’t done spending money; I wouldn’t expect any more splash signings, but the team isn’t done. The gem of the free agent class will be Jessie Bates III. Expect smaller yet impactful additions as we approach the new league year on Wednesday when all of these deals become official.
Photographer: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire
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