The Athletic dubs Falcons the “biggest winners of the offseason by far”

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Somehow, the Falcons were behind the Texans, Jaguars, and Commanders in ESPN’s rankings of the most improved team this offseason. Per usual, ESPN missed the mark.

Atlanta didn’t have the same quantity of notable acquisitions as Houston, Jacksonville, and Washington, but dramatically improving the most important position in the sport should always be weighed more heavily than anything else.

The Jaguars replaced Gabe Davis with Calvin Ridley and re-signed Josh Allen and Erza Cleveland while trading for Mac Jones. The Commanders are expected to add a quarterback with the No. 2 pick and added Frankie Luvu and Tyler Biadasz in free agency.

Re-signing players is keeping the status quo. Though important, it doesn’t qualify as ‘improvement’ in my book. Regardless, if we do categorize those re-signings in the same manner as new acquisitions, I’d still hardly consider that more improvement than going from the worst quarterback situation in the league to one of the best.

That’s exactly why The Athletic described the Falcons as the ‘biggest winners of the offseason by far’ because they upgraded the most important position in the game.

Top-10 (ish) quarterbacks don’t hit free agency too often, so the Falcons are the biggest winners of the offseason by far after landing Cousins. Cousins isn’t likely to be a top-five quarterback, but he has one of the higher floors around, and you’re consistently going to get good enough production to make you a contender. There is some risk with Cousins coming off an Achilles injury entering his age-36 season, but the Falcons are upgrading the game’s most important position by a mile, and that’s going to make you the offseason champion just about every time.

The media outlet recently analyzed how much each NFL club has improved this offseason, and the Falcons had 52.4 points of value-added from last season, nearly doubling the next team, which was the Bears at 26.2, followed by the Steelers at 20.5 and the Broncos at 13.8.

There’s a difference between saying the Falcons are now the best team in the league or the conference and they’ve improved the most from 2023. It’s not hard to argue, either, if you watched Desmond Ridder and Kirk Cousins last year.

When he went down, Cousins was playing like a top 5 quarterback in the league and was the best signal caller in the NFC. At the same time, Ridder was playing among the worst quarterbacks in the league.

It could be argued the Falcons went from the worst quarterback situation in the NFL to the best. It’s the quickest way to experience improvement, and The Athletic recognizes that.

Photographer: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

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