Falcons: What does the rest of Dante Fowler Jr.’s contract look like?

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As Chase predicted in an overreaction Tuesday that turned out to not be an overreaction at all — the Falcons have some buyers remorse with their big Free Agent signing from last offseason.

 

Every season, it seemed like Fowler got a little bit better, which culminated with his performance last year in which he racked up 58 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 16 TFL, and 16 QB hits — all career-highs. However, while I was never worried about Fowler being an upgrade over Beasley, I was concerned that last season was more of a flash in the pan rather than something he would produce every year, and so far in 2020, that has proven to be the case.

 

For a healthy $18.6 million cap hit in 2021, the Falcons are getting back a guy who has 2 total sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, and 3 TFL in 2020. His PFF grades are telling for EDGE:

 

Overall: 52.2 (103 of 113)

Run Defense: 39.4 (104 of 107)

Pass Rush: 62.9 (61 of 111)

Coverage 72.5 (1 of 31)

 

I really don’t know how that last one is even possible, but Fowler was signed to get to the Quarterback — not defend against the pass. He’s still got time to make up ground, but he’s turning into one of the worst free agent signings in team history. With 2 years and almost $40 million left on Fowler’s deal, Atlanta has to figure something out. They cannot afford to pay him that for what he’s given. Thankfully, guys like Foyesade Oluokun and Calvin Ridley aren’t free agents quite yet. This list of impending free agents should be reasonably affordable, and besides Alex Mack — I don’t see any potential crazy big losses. So what CAN the Falcons do? It’s not as bleak as you think.

 

2021 Pre June 1st Cut:
  • Dead Cap: $15.3 million
  • Savings: $3.3 million
2021 Pre June 1st Trade:
  • Dead Cap: $4.7 million
  • Savings: $14 million
2021 Post June 1st Cut:
  • Dead Cap: $10.7 million
  • Savings: $8 million
2021 Post June 1st Trade:
  • Dead Cap: $4.7 million
  • Savings: $14 million

You can go ahead and forget about a trade, I’ll tell you that for free. It’s ideal, but Atlanta would have to attach draft picks or something to save $11 million. Nowhere near worth it, I’ll take a straight cut over that. A post June 1st cut makes the most sense, and it’s certainly in the cards. I’d welcome it.

 

2022 Pre June 1st Cut:
  • Dead Cap: $4.7 million
  • Savings: $14 million

2022 Pre June 1st Trade:

  • Dead Cap: $4.7 million
  • Savings: $15 million
2022 Post June 1st Cut:
  • Dead Cap: $4.7 million
  • Savings: $15 million
2022 Post June 1st Trade:
  • Dead Cap: $4.7 million
  • Savings: $15 million

 

The out is the same across the board for 2022. I’m in favor of just cutting losses now. It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. If you can cut him after June 1st and pocket $8 million, you have to do it.

 

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