The Falcons may not have a lot of money, but they aren’t done making moves quite yet. On June 2nd, they will receive nearly $11 million for the release of Desmond Trufant, which they designated a Post-June 1st cut. That will give them plenty of enough money to sign their rookie class and a little wiggle room to bring in a free agent or two. Luckily, with the coronavirus, the second wave of free agency has been essentially stagnant, and there are several quality players left on the market that could help the Falcons in 2020.
Larry Warford- Warford has been a stone wall at offensive guard for the Saints over the years, and somewhat surprisingly, they cut him this offseason, although it did save New Orleans nearly $8 million in cap space. The rumors are he’s seeking $7 million, but it’s almost June, and he hasn’t been signed. Perhaps Warford has a little revenge on his mind and would be willing to come to Atlanta if his contract demands aren’t met. Imagine adding him to the offensive line. The Falcons only have one hole on their entire offense, and that’s at left guard. If they could land Wafford, I’m not sure there’s a defense in the league that would be able to stop Atlanta.
Darqueze Dennard- Dennard has been with the Bengals since 2014, appearing in 77 games and starting in 24 of them. He’s consistently graded out in the 60s-70s, according to Pro Football Focus. The Falcons’ most significant need going into the season is undoubtedly cornerback. Adding a veteran like Dennard to a young group would make life a lot easier for Dan Quinn and Raheem Morris.
Eli Apple- Apple had his contract nixed by the Raiders. He may be a bit of a risk, but he’s still just 25-years-old and was a former top-ten pick. If the Falcons think they can get the most out of his potential, Apple is an intriguing option.
Dre Kirkpatrick- Another former first-round selection, Kirkpatrick has started 67 games over his eight-year career with the Bengals. They cut him this offseason to save over $8 million in cap space. On a short-term deal, he could be the veteran the Falcons need to add to this secondary.
Aqib Talib- Talib has put together one hell of a career. But he’s now 34 and has only played 13 games over the last two seasons. Still, he’d be a quality veteran presence for the Falcons young group of corners, and perhaps Atlanta would be able to squeeze out the last bit of good ball he has left.
Brandon Carr- With several quality corners still on the market, Carr could be an extremely affordable option that has loads of experience. He’s started in 196 straight games without missing one — precisely what the Falcons should be looking for.
Tramaine Brock- Brock is another veteran that should be plenty affordable for the Falcons to pursue. He started 11 games for the Cardinals and Titans combined last season and has started in 56 over his 11-year career.
Nigel Bradham- Outside of cornerback, linebacker still has a lot of questions. They lack depth and only have two legit starting options. Although the addition of Deone Bucannon eases some concern. Still, Bradham would more than patch up this issue. He started 12 games for the Eagles last season, racking up 61 tackles.
Mykal Kendricks- Like Bradham, Kendricks would solidify the Falcons linebacking core and should be in Atlanta’s price range. He recorded 71 tackles and three sacks in 14 games last year for Seattle.
Darron Lee- Lee is a former first-round pick that has severely underwhelmed since coming into the league. The Falcons could bring him in on a cheap deal for competition, but I’m not sure he’s much of an upgrade over what they already have.
Everson Griffen- Following the addition of Charles Harris, the Falcons may be set on the edge heading into training camp, but they can undoubtedly upgrade a good bit by acquiring a free agent, and they should be looking to do so. Griffen is the best pass rusher on the market the Falcons can possibly afford. He would immediately make the defense more formidable going into 2020 and beyond.
Michael Bennett- Bennett is nearing the end of his career, and his attitude might not be something the Falcons are looking to add to their locker room. However, he’s familiar with Dan Quinn, affordable, and would boost Atlanta’s defensive line.
Vinny Curry- Of all the names on this list, Vinny Curry might make the most sense. He’s affordable, not too old, and productive without any red flags. Curry is a player the Falcons should definitely be keeping tabs on.
Jabaal Sheard- Sheard’s put together a quality career in his first nine seasons, racking up 51.5 sacks and 13 forced fumbles. A newly turned 31-year-old, he still has some good years left and would help the Falcons defensive line tremendously.
Clay Matthews- Matthews is another player that is a shell of his All-Pro self. However, he still had eight sacks for the Rams last season and is also related to Jake Matthews. Perhaps he’d like to end his career playing with one of his cousins, although he could prove to be too costly for Atlanta’s budget.
Cameron Wake- Wake is on his last legs, but the Falcons know first-hand what a wily veteran that is at the tail end of a Hall-of-Fame career can provide a defense. Dwight Freeney helped out Vic Beasley tremendously while also serving as a quality rotational pass rusher. Wake would fit well in the same type of role and is within the Falcons budget.
Interior Defensive Line
Damon Harrison- Following the addition of Marlon Davidson through the draft, the Falcons could be set at defensive tackle, and Harrison isn’t exactly a perfect fit.
Mike Daniels- Once a Pro-Bowler back in 2017, Daniels hasn’t been nearly as productive since — in part due to injury. However, that means he shouldn’t be too expensive and could solidify the Falcons interior defensive line rotation.
Marcell Dareus- Once regarded as one of the best defensive tackles in football, Dareus’ production has plummeted over the last few seasons. Perhaps the Falcons believe they can catch lightning in a bottle, but if they are going to improve their defensive line, there are many better options on the EDGE.
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