“Keep an eye” on Falcons if Chiefs don’t sign L’Jarius Sneed

NFL: JAN 13 AFC Wild Card Dolphins at Chiefs

The Falcons are set to be active this offseason as the club attempts to fill voids at the most important positions in football.

Four of the top five positions that most would consider premium need to be addressed in the coming months. Whether that’s through the draft, free agency or a trade, the Falcons need to improve the quarterback position, maybe even completely overhauling it.

Drake London and A.J. Terrell need running mates, but receiver and corner aren’t as pressing as quarterback, which has to be the Falcons’ top priority this offseason. Moreover, an edge rusher to pair with Arnold Ebiketie would go a long way.

As of right now, the free agent markets are ripe with high-end pass rushers like Danielle Hunter, Josh Allen and Brian Burns. The draft could net a pass catcher like Malik Nabers, Brock Bowers, or Rome Odunze.

The quarterback market is one that’s harder to predict, but the Falcons shouldn’t leave a single stone unturned. As far as cornerbacks, the Falcons can go in a number of directions, like taking Terrion Arnold with their 8th overall pick or potentially dipping into the free agent market, which is what one pundit says we should keep an eye on.

Tony Pauline believes the Falcons are a team to watch if the Chiefs don’t re-sign L’Jarius Sneed.

“If the Chiefs can’t sign Sneed in the offseason, where could he land? Keep an eye on the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders.”

The fourth-round pick from Lousiana Tech has started since his rookie season in 2020, starting 57 games, logging 10 interceptions and 40 passes defended. Sneed has publicly stated he prefers to stay in Kansas City, but as we’ve seen before, the NFL is a business.

The Chiefs have to make decisions on Chris Jones as well as Sneed, so it’s very possible the latter walks in free agency if the club doesn’t use the franchise tag on him, which would pay Sneed around $19 million.

The expectation for his free agent contract would be somewhere around that number annually. I could see a team paying him more than the tag, depending on their current situation, but he’s probably worth around $18.5 million per year on a new deal.

For the Falcons, it might not make a ton of sense. A.J. Terrell is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is up for a contract extension. Paying two corners around that $16-20 million per year isn’t the worst thing in the world, but if the Falcons are wanting to be more balanced on the cap sheet, finding a cheaper alternative may be appropriate.

However, using the 8th overall pick on another position of need like edge defender, receiver, or quarterback would then allow Terry Fontenot to spend cap dollars on the cornerback position. There’s no blueprint for how a GM should manage the salary cap and roster, so anyway the Falcons can fill voids while maintaining healthy financials should be on the table.

Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

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