Top 100 NFL free agents left available for the Falcons

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The first couple of waves of free agency have passed. Most of the heavy lifting is in the rearview mirror, and the situation is no different for the Falcons, who spent over $200 million on the first day of free agency by signing Kirk Cousins and Darnell Mooney. However, there remains some work to be done, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons can’t afford to go into the NFL Draft with massive holes at both EDGE and cornerback. They’ll be adding some more between now and then.

Of the top 100 NFL free agents from The Athletic, here are the ones left that could still help the Falcons.

22. Justin Simmons

If the Falcons have a third biggest defensive need, it’s at safety next to Jessie Bates III. Perhaps they feel comfortable going into the season with Richie Grant, DeMarcco Hellams, and whatever they get in the draft. Justin Simmons also might be out of their price range at the position, but he’s a veteran that’s been a game changer over his entire career. Having two guys like that at the back-end of the defense has to be appealing.

27. Jadeveon Clowney

Raheem Morris didn’t hide anything at a press conference earlier this week when talking about the teams biggest needs, pointing right at the pass rush and cornerback. The former of which needs multiple additions. Of the remaining free agents Clowney is by far the best option and likely won’t require anything more than a one-year deal.

48. Bud Dupree

Dupree is one of the Falcons own free agents, and while I haven’t heard many connections to him, it would make a lot of sense to bring him back. He was among the Falcons best EDGE defenders, tied for the team league in sacks with 6.5, and shouldn’t require much more than a one-year contract. Dupree isn’t going to fix all of the Falcons woes at the EDGE position, none of these guys will, but it would be a helluva lot better than what they currently have.

54. Kyle Van Noy

Van Noy is coming off a career-high in sacks for the Baltimore Ravens, racking up nine of them. However, everyone for the Ravens ate last season across the defensive line. Prior to last year, he had never had more than 6.5 sacks in a season. Expecting much more than that with the Falcons would be wishful thinking, but he’s a veteran that could have an impact like Bud Dupree had last year in Atlanta.

58. Marcus Maye

Maye would probably be an upgrade for the Falcons at safety. After five years with the New York Jets, he joined the division rival Saints on a three-year deal, but most of his tenure was plagued by injuries. He’s probably looking for a one-year, prove-it contract, and the safety market has been ice cold.

59. Steven Nelson

The Falcons could use a veteran starting corner to pair with A.J. Terrell, and Nelson has been just that over his entire career, starting 93 games over the last six seasons for the Chiefs, Steelers, Eagles, and Texans. He’s one of the best cornerbacks remaining on the free agent market.

64. Calais Campbell

Another one of the Falcons own free agents, Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris have both expressed their desire to retain Calais Campbell. He may want to retire, or he may want to play elsewhere, but if he does want to play, one would think the Falcons have a good shot at retaining him.

66. Stephon Gilmore

Gilmore’s likely heading for the Hall of Fame when he retires. The five-time Pro-Bowler, two time All-Pro, and Super Bowl champion isn’t what he once was when he won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2019, but he’s still a solid starter that would be much better than what the Falcons had at the position last year with Jeff Okudah.

78. Xavien Howard

Like Gilmore, Howard isn’t what he once was at cornerback when he was a four-time Pro-Bowler, but he’s an upgrade over what the Falcons have and adds much needed depth to the room.

Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire


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