The writing seems to be on the wall for Jalen Mayfield

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Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith took a gamble in the third round of their first draft class back in 2021, selecting Jalen Mayfield out of Michigan in the third round.

The hope was that the Michigan product could kick inside to guard, cementing Atlanta’s offensive line, but the experiment went miserably. He started all 16 games for the team, because the Falcons really didn’t have any better options, and was arguably the worst offensive lineman in the entire league. Mayfield would then lose the job and did not appear in a single game last season. Now, entering year three, it looks as if his time in Atlanta could be coming to an end.

The Falcons have given up on him as a guard, switching him back to his collegiate tackle position. He won’t be starting over Jake Matthews or Kaleb McGary, but with no viable backup options, there’s a scenario where he makes the 53-roster with a good performance in the preseason. However, through two weeks, there are no signs of him being a playable option in any situation. Mayfield once again was the worst player on the field in last Friday’s second preseason contest against the Bengals.

Mayfield has some chops in the run game, but he is a total liability in pass sets. He can’t be trusted to protect the quarterback, which is unacceptable for a tackle. Now, he’s working with the third team, and the writing appears to be on the wall regarding his future with the team.

Given his third-round pick status, Jalen Mayfield has gotten a much longer leash than most other players on the team. Had he gone later in the draft or undrafted altogether, I don’t even think we’d be talking about this situation. He would be on another roster by now or out of the league. It’s no fun to admit you’re wrong, but I don’t really see any point in letting this go on any longer.

Jalen Mayfield is simply not a good player; it’s a sunk cost, and the Falcons have got to cut ties. The problem is the team’s depth leaves a lot to be desired, which is why he is still around. However, when other more competent players are cut over the next couple of weeks, I expect the Falcons to scoop one or two up. It’s a necessity at this point.

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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