The Falcons finally got out from underneath most of the bad contracts and dead money this offseason. Armed with the second-most cap space, Atlanta spent cash in gobs to bring in high-priced free agents, including Jessie Bates and David Onyemata.
However, the club is still dealing with dead cap, around $18.7 million to be exact, most of which is tied to Deion Jones‘ contract. They’ll be free of all dead money in 2024 and will have around $38 million in cap space without adjusting any contracts. They’ll once again be big players in free agency, and the 2024 class is loaded with wide receivers and pass rushers.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com recently ranked the top 50 players that are currently set to hit free agency. Let’s look at which ones the Falcons could be interested in.
2. Tee Higgins
The Bengals are trying to work out a deal but with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase‘s massive contracts looming, would Cincinnati let a top 15 wideout walk? If there’s one glaring hole on the Falcons roster, it’s a receiver. This would be a tremendous addition.
The Vikings gave the LSU product a pay raise this year, but he’s still looking for a lucrative long-term contract. The Falcons invested a lot in their defensive front, but none compare to the pass rusher that Danielle Hunter is.
7. Montez Sweat
The Commanders won’t be able to pay everyone on their defensive line, and Sweat could walk. He’s a big, fast defender that fits the mold of Ryan Nielsen’s EDGE. Like Hunter, Sweat is head and shoulders better than anything the Falcons currently have under contract.
10. Kirk Cousins
Desmond Ridder might be the long term answer at quarterback. He might not be, though. Cousins isn’t as athletic as Arthur Smith might desire at the position, but he’s capable of running the offense, which is similar to Kevin O’Connor’s in Minnesota.
15. L’Jarius Sneed
Though the Falcons just drafted Clark Phillips, their outlook at boundary corner is bleak. Signing Sneed could give Atlanta an elite cornerback tandem for years to come once they extend A.J. Terrell.
18. Kristian Fulton
Like Sneed, good corners hitting the free agent market doesn’t happen too often. Fulton will have plenty of suitors, and the Falcons could be one of them. A tandem of him and A.J. Terrell on the boundary sounds tantalizing,
20. Ryan Tannehill
The reunion between Tannehill and Arthur Smith almost feels inevitable if Ridder proves not to be the answer. Moreover, he’ll cost a fraction of what the Titans are currently paying him.
26. Josh Uche
The Patriots produce elite defenders constantly, and Uche is an EDGE defender that could interest the Falcons. He’s a well rounded player that can defend the run as well as rush the passer. Uche should cost considerably less than Hunter and Sweat.
32. Jaylon Johnson
This is a high risk, high reward type of signing. Johnson still projects as an elite cornerback, but like a lot of them, he’s been inconsistent. His rookie campaign was encouraging, showing his high ceiling but ever since, it’s been below average play. A bad Bears defense doesn’t help, though.
39. Tyler Boyd
Boyd, like his teammate Higgins, might not get a new deal because the Bengals have a lot of players to pay. The Falcons could do much worse at WR2 than Boyd.
A lot of these guys could re-sign; nonetheless, a lot of 2024 NFL free agents should interest the Falcons.
Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire