With the Falcons 1-5, it’s time to start looking towards the future. There are way too many competitive teams to make a real run at the Wild Card after this start, and if we are honest, this team doesn’t have what it takes. Dan Quinn is a lame-duck head coach that has one foot out the door, injuries have piled up, and the defense still has no idea what they are doing. The trade deadline is just around the corner, less than two weeks away, and the Falcons should be looking to acquire as many picks as possible while shedding as much salary as they can.
There isn’t a fan or a member of the Falcons organization that doesn’t appreciate what Sanu does. While complimenting Julio Jones, he’s done all the little things that make this offense tick, and was a primary reason as to why the Falcons made such a substantial jump from 2015 to 2016. However, with Calvin Ridley now in the fold, his contributions – while valuable – are no longer necessary, especially on a team that has so many more pressing needs.
Sanu currently has 32 receptions on the year for 310 yards and a touchdown. It’s not eye-popping, but his blocking, presence in the locker room, and ability as a third-down maestro will make him an asset to a team trying to make a run this year and next. With the Falcons needing to shed some cap heading into 2020, it makes sense for them to move on from a loveable yet expendable piece of their team, collect another draft pick and open up space for the upcoming offseason.
Vic Beasley Jr.
Let’s be frank about this: willingly handing Vic Beasley nearly $13 million this offseason is a fireable offense. He did nothing to earn it, and absolutely nothing has changed in 2019. At this point, if the Falcons can get a 7th round pick for Beasley, they will have swindled another team. I’m not sure anybody will be willing to trade for him though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were out of the league altogether in the next couple of years.
This isn’t what Falcons fans want to hear, and I don’t blame them. Hooper has arguably been Atlanta’s offensive MVP. He leads all tight ends, as well as the team, in receptions with 42 and is eighth among all pass-catchers in receiving yards. Following his Pro-Bowl campaign in 2018, Hooper has made the jump into the elite category of tight ends.
He’s also only 24 and is amid the final year of his contract. There’s a chance he becomes the highest-paid tight end once he hits the open market this upcoming offseason. There is no disputing that in an ideal world – the Falcons would like to keep Hooper – but eventually, they are going to have to let some of their offensive firepower walk so they can patch up the holes they have on the defensive side. Thomas Dimitroff will have to decide quickly whether or not Hooper is worth the 50+ million he is likely to demand at the end of the season. If the Falcons don’t think they will be able to afford him, they are best off getting what they can for him now. An extra third-round draft pick is much more valuable than you might imagine.
Another player the Falcons’ faithful won’t love seeing on this list – Alex Mack is having his worst season with Atlanta in his fourth year. He’s made the Pro-Bowl in the previous three and arguably been the best center in the game. That alone should garner some interest from teams that are looking for help on their interior offensive line. The Falcons won’t have to undergo a complete rebuild going into 2020, so I would understand holding onto Mack. However, if Atlanta can add a pick and shed the 10+ million they are scheduled to have invested in him next season, they should probably consider it.
Others assets that could be moved
- Desmond Trufant
- Ricardo Allen
- Takk McKinley
- De’Vondre Campbell