There is one stipulation for any blockbuster Falcons trade

NFL: NOV 14 Buccaneers at Washington Football Team

The NFL trade deadline is a week away, and this could be one of the more active deadlines in recent years. The Falcons are in a position to buy as they sit atop the division in sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

For the first time since 2017, Atlanta has more reason to acquire talent than part ways with it at the deadline. However, there are a couple of things working against fans’ dreams of a Falcons trade.

There aren’t many obvious areas that need upgrading, and the club isn’t one deal away from becoming a Super Bowl contender. There’s no reason to make hasty decisions for short-term gain now.

Moreover, Desmond Ridder could be the answer, but anyone telling you one way or the other is just taking a shot in the dark. It wouldn’t be a smart business decision for Terry Fontenot to part ways with valuable draft capital for a rental with the uncertainty at the most important position in the sport.

That’s a long-winded way of saying the Falcons shouldn’t be buying at this year’s deadline unless it’s a similar deal as the Van Jefferson trade — value and depth.

I will tickle some fans’ peaches, though. There is, in fact, a scenario where the Falcons swing a blockbuster trade. A lot of fans are hoping to upgrade the edge position group by acquiring one of Danielle Hunter, Chase Young, Montez Sweat, etc., or another star pass rusher.

The only way a deal like that comes to fruition is if the Falcons make a strong push to get a new contract extension done with one of the aforementioned players. That would surprise some folks, but it’s not impossible.

According to Josina Anderson, several teams have an interest in the Commanders’ defensive linemen and are willing to offer a long-term deal ahead of free agency.

Now, I’m not going to be a wet blanket because the thought of trading for one of Young or Sweat is quite enticing, but I have to put things into perspective. If a deal like that comes to fruition, that likely means fewer snaps for Arnold Ebiketie, who the Falcons spent a second-round pick on in 2022. Developing high draft picks is how good teams stay good. Neglecting him wouldn’t be wise in the long term.

I digress. If you take anything from this piece, take this — there will be no blockbuster Falcons trade unless the club is extending that star. That is the only stipulation. A long-term contract extension has to come with any worthwhile deal.

Photographer: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

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