The Falcons are in an unfamiliar position heading into Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline. For the first time since 2017, they are over .500, sitting in sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a prime opportunity to move to 5-3 this Sunday against a hobbled Titans squad. Arthur Smith’s squad has established itself as a playoff contender again, and there’s a case to be made that the Falcons could be buyers at the trade deadline for the first time in a while.
As Alex has talked about a lot over the last couple of weeks, a blockbuster trade is probably unlikely. The Falcons are still building towards the future with Desmond Ridder. It wouldn’t be wise to throw significant draft capital at one-year fixes. The only way the Falcons should be considering a blockbuster trade is if they go into it knowing they are going to extend whoever they acquire. Anything else would not be a wise decision by Terry Fontenot.
However, that could be something the Falcons are looking to do. Ryan Nielsen’s defense has been one of the top units in all of football, but the one thing missing is a bonafide stud on the edge that can get after the quarterback. Adding one would really make this defense a nightmare for opposing signal callers, and there could be several available at this year’s trade deadline.
The Commanders are apparently open for business when it comes to Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Josh Uche of the Patriots also seems likely to be dealt. Danielle Hunter could be on the block as well, and the Jets have several depth pieces that might be on the move. All of those guys would add some juice to the Falcons pass rush, and Jonathan Jones — an NFL insider for CBS — suggests the Falcons could be one of several buyers at the trade deadline.
The 5-2 Baltimore Ravens are also considered buyers, owning all their picks through the first five rounds of the 2024 draft. And the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons could also be buyers, even though they have just more than $6 million in cap space this year. They’ll have an extra pick (somewhere between the second and fourth round) thanks to the Calvin Ridley trade. New Orleans could also be in the market to keep pace.
I still wouldn’t expect anything crazy, given the state of the Falcons quarterback situation, but Desmond Ridder has shown some signs of progress as of late as a passer. If he delivers a stellar performance against the Titans this weekend, perhaps that will be enough to convince the decision makers in the building to be more aggressive ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.
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