Ranking the top ten impending free agents the Falcons should consider re-signing

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The Falcons have a few difficult choices to make this offseason regarding their own free agents. Guys like Kaleb McGary have shown they are worth a long-term deal, and the Falcons didn’t pick up his fifth-year option — so now they’ll have to pay a premium to keep him. Additionally, there are other contributors that have played well on one-year deals that could be brought back. I won’t be considering guys who aren’t hitting free agency, while I’d love to lock up AJ Terrell and Chris Lindstrom, they won’t be included here. Let’s get started:

10. WR Olamide Zaccheaus

One of the longer tenured Falcons, Zaccheaus has yet to really cut his teeth in a bad Falcons wide receiver room, even with Calvin Ridley absent. He gets the last spot over Damiere Byrd here because, well, he’s a little bit younger. The Falcons need a complete revamp at the position outside of Drake London, but I could be talked into Zaccheaus on a very cheap deal.

9. CB Rashad Fenton

Fenton is here because the Falcons shipped off a seventh round pick for him, which doesn’t make him untouchable, but they still badly need help in the secondary. Fenton has been decent for the Falcons, but he’s another guy I’d only want on a very cheap deal. Luckily for a team that’s looking to spend big in free agency, they don’t have a ton of their own guys they absolutely have to retain.

8. TE Parker Hesse

Hesse has been a pleasant surprise this year, especially as a blocker. Once again, he’s a guy I’ll take on a low-cost deal because he can block and knows the system.

7. LB Rashaan Evans

Now we’re getting into the meat and potatoes. Evans hasn’t been the best linebacker in the NFL this year, but he is a solid piece of a bad Falcons defense. If the Falcons trust Nate Landman and go after someone like Roquan Smith, I could understand letting Evans walk. However, he’d be perfectly fine back on another one-year deal if the Falcons add someone else.

6. IOL Elijah Wilkinson

Left guard has been a sore spot for the Falcons for a while, and thankfully, Wilkinson has helped make the position respectable again. I doubt Atlanta wants to go through a revolving door at the spot again, so if Wilkinson wants a low-cost deal and they aren’t interested in any marquee free agents — I’m totally fine with it.

5. TE MyCole Pruitt

Speaking of nice surprises, Pruitt has been great in Kyle Pitts‘ absence. The Falcons are going to need a solid TE2, and he can be that guy for them. His work as a blocker is just icing on the cake.

4. IDL Abdullah Anderson

The former undrafted free agent and journeyman may have found himself a home in Atlanta. He’s a quality rotational piece, and although the Falcons need some star power on the defensive front, he’s a good guy to have in their back pocket.

3. EDGE Lorenzo Carter

Carter has been the best pass rusher on a team that simply doesn’t get to the quarterback. The Falcons need to get after the position in free agency and potentially the draft. This isn’t a star-studded edge group in free agency, so I’m fine with giving Carter another deal to let him rotate in with whoever else Atlanta (hopefully) brings in.

2. CB Isaiah Oliver

Since returning from injury, Isaiah Oliver has proved the 2020 and 2021 seasons were not flukes. He’s a new man in Dean Pees’ defense, and if he can stay healthy, he can be an impact player for this team. The injuries are a concern, however, so hopefully the Falcons can provide him with some security at a lower cost. I’d really love to have him back.

1. OT Kaleb McGary

If you’ve seen the market for right tackles in free agency, you’ll understand why Kaleb McGary is first on this list. Besides that, he has just been a great player and has really gelled with Chris Lindstrom — who may be the best guard in football. PFF recently named McGary as a player who has increased their price tag in free agency, and I think the Falcons should pay it.

Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire 

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