One of the most underrated defenders of the past decade has hit the open market, as Geno Atkins’ legendary tenure in the Queen City is over. Atkins is 32, but he’s still insanely productive. He undoubtedly has a lot of good football left in him.
Bengals are releasing Geno Atkins, per @TheTylerDragon
Atkins: 92.7 PFF Grade in 2020 (3rd) pic.twitter.com/8ehmiMUXwk
— PFF (@PFF) March 19, 2021
QB pressures among DIs since 2010:
1. Geno Atkins – 580
2. Aaron Donald – 579
3. Ndamukong Suh – 559
4. Fletcher Cox – 503 pic.twitter.com/FY2Rhrr0nt
— PFF (@PFF) February 18, 2021
Obviously, Atkins got a three-year head start on Aaron Donald, but Donald is an all-time great. You can’t pay a guy for past performance, but he was still very effective on a bad Bengals defense in 2020. I think if you’re the Falcons and looking for some cheap help to make an impact and possibly mentor Marlon Davidson, look no further than Geno Atkins.
There’s no guarantee that he won’t command a big contract, but at this point in his career — I don’t see it. Regardless, Atkins would provide immediate pass rush up the middle for a Falcons team that’s hoping to carve out a new defensive identity. With so many other quality players signing one-year deals, Terry Fontenot could persuade him to come home on a prove-it deal. The former Georgia Bulldog could show the rest of the league exactly how much he still has in the tank in hopes of attracting his last major multi-year deal in the 2022 offseason.