If the Falcons don’t re-sign Fabian Moreau, A.J. Bouye could be a cost-effective free agent option

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The Falcons have their lockdown corner of the future in A.J. Terrell, but opposite him is void as Fabian Moreau is a free agent. When the team acquired Moreau on a one-year deal worth $1.127 million, I was indifferent to the signing, but he proved to be serviceable, and I think the Falcons would benefit from signing him to a similar deal this offseason.

Moreau isn’t A.J. Terrell by any means, which may alter people’s perception of “good” cornerback play. Terrell is one of the very best at his position, allowing 37 receptions on 74 targets for 362 total yards and three touchdowns while notching two interceptions. Though he was snubbed from the 2021 Pro Bowl, he earned All-Pro honors for his breakout season.

In comparison, Moreau gave up 51 receptions on 82 targets for 578 yards and seven touchdowns. Sure, that is worse than Terrell, but it is all relative. To put it into perspective, Trevon Diggs surrendered 50 receptions on 94 targets for 790 yards and four touchdowns while leading the NFL in interceptions (11).

The reality is that Moreau played perfectly acceptable for his price tag. Out of 85 qualifying cornerbacks, he ranks tied for 19th in targets and receptions, 51st in reception percentage (64.7%), tied for 20th in yards per reception (10.3), and tied for 12th in stops (12). Fans would have you believe that he’s been unbearable.

The Falcons could do much worse opposite Terrell. Moreau certainly had his share of forgetful games, but with such a high volume of targets coming his way as quarterbacks refuse to attack Terrell, this would be the case for most cornerbacks. Those bad games shouldn’t overshadow the good things he’s done for this team.

Moreau on a similar one-year, team-friendly deal would be ideal, but if the Falcons do choose to go in a different direction, A.J. Bouye is an intriguing option. The 30-year-old was recently released by the Panthers after lasting just one season into a two-year, $7 million deal.

An undrafted free agent in 2013, Bouye began his career in Houston and quickly became one of the league’s best corners. In 2017, he signed a five-year, $67.5 million contract with the Jaguars and earned All-Pro honors in his first year with the team.

However, since then, Bouye has struggled to stay healthy. Last season with the Panthers, he was relegated to the slot, where he played pretty well but was limited to only ten games due to a PED suspension and injuries.

The Georgia native isn’t the star cornerback he was once was, but there is still plenty of gas left in the tank. After playing some good football from the slot in 2021, it could make sense that he slides into Isaiah Oliver‘s role in Dean Pees’ defense; however, I’d argue that Bouye can also still play on the boundary opposite A.J. Terrell.

Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire



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