Most underrated selling point to prospective Falcons head coaches

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

The Falcons are casting a wide net into the hiring pool, but most media pundits think it’s Bill Belichick or bust for Atlanta.

The club has completed interviews with Belichick, Brian Callahan, Mike Macdonald, Steve Wilks, Anthony Weaver, and Ejiro Evero with more to come. However, most national reporters believe Belichick is still the favorite.

The prospect of the GOAT becoming the next Falcons head coach is a divisive conversation, but there’s one potential aspect of Arthur Blank hiring Bill Belichick that would please many fans.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a source within the team predicts that “Belichick would take the job only if McKay is completely frozen out of football operations.”

Rich McKay is the single constant (other than Arthur Blank) through the team’s failures over the last few head coaches. Yet, McKay has gone unscathed in all of this. His role is irregular, and the management structure might turn away some candidates.

That is a significant downside of the job, but there are far more attractive selling points in the Falcons head coaching gig than not.

The club owns the 8th overall pick to go along with an arsenal of draft capital. The new regime hadn’t parted ways with any draft capital; in fact, they’ve accumulated more picks than sent out.

They’re also set to have around $35 million in cap space to spend on free agents, but that figure could rise to $50 million if the new head coach found Taylor Heinicke, Lorenzo Carter, and Mike Hughes expendable.

Moreover, the Falcons roster is already in decent shape. There’s work to do, room for improvement, and positions that absolutely need to be addressed this offseason, but it’s in a better state than a lot of rosters with a head coach vacancy.

However, the most underrated selling point is the NFC South. The Falcons are in the worst division in the league, and it’s not particularly close.

The Panthers are a dumpster fire with a volatile owner, an inferior roster, and a lack of draft capital. The Saints’ decision to stick with Dennis Allen is one that benefits the Falcons, and New Orleans’ salary cap situation will keep them from making major upgrades to the roster.

The Buccaneers are the Falcons’ stiffest competition in the future, but Tampa Bay is only marginally better than Atlanta right now. Considering the difference in the pair’s quarterback play, Falcons fans should feel confident in controlling the division as long as they upgrade that area.

Whichever head coach eventually takes over the Falcons has the opportunity to run the division immediately. Though it’s only one aspect a candidate considers, it’s a significant factor.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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