Jessie Bates hints Falcons may not be done adding this offseason

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

On paper, the Atlanta Falcons are a significantly better team than they were a year ago. However, most of that has to do with the improvements at the quarterback position. Going from Desmond Ridder to Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix Jr. is one of the more dramatic turnarounds you’ll ever see at the most important position in all of sports. That alone should result in a couple of more wins for the Falcons, who hope to break their streak of three straight seasons with seven wins. However, there are still several position groups that could be bolstered, specifically on the defensive side.

There aren’t a ton of free agents available this deep into the offseason, but the leader of the Falcons defense — Jessie Bates III — believes Terry Fontenot may still have a trick or two up his sleeve.

Maybe Jessie Bates has some inside information; maybe he doesn’t. If any player on the Falcons were to know, I would think he would be one of them. Frankly, let’s just hope that’s the case.

Because as of now, the Falcons’ defense leaves a lot to be desired. The pass rush looks much more formidable following the draft, but they’re still relying on a lot of young and unproven talent. The secondary, however, is what’s really concerning.

Outside of A.J. Terrell, there isn’t a proven cornerback in the room. If Terrell were to go down, the Falcons would quickly have a mess on their hands, one they may not be able to overcome. Adding at least one starting-caliber body at cornerback feels like a must.

The Falcons could also use some experience at safety. Jessie Bates III is one of the best in the business, but beside him was a glaring issue all of last season. Former second-round pick Richie Grant was eventually supplanted by a rookie seventh-round pick in DeMarcco Hellams. Perhaps Hellams is the answer, or maybe Raheem Morris and Jimmy Lake can get more out of Grant than Ryan Nielsen, but it would ease a lot of the concerns if a veteran were added on the backend of the defense.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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