The Falcons have taken a similar approach to both offseasons since the new regime took over. Dealing with a slew of bloated, over-priced contracts, Terry Fontenot couldn’t be the big spender many had hoped for; Atlanta’s salary cap issues have been well-documented. The front office signed a bevy of veteran free agents to team-friendly, one-year deals. The only multi-year contracts the Falcons have handed out in the tenure of the new regime have been to Mike Davis, who didn’t make it to the second year of his deal, Casey Hayward and Marcus Mariota.
That essentially means the Falcons have a ton of players coming off the books after 2022. As it stands today, the Falcons only have 51 players under contract for the 2023 season, but many of them aren’t NFL-caliber players and are on reserve/future contracts. Below are all the Falcons coming into the season in a contract year.
Kaleb McGary, Lorenzo Carter, Keith Smith, Olamide Zaccheaus, Isaiah Oliver, Rashaan Evans, Damien Williams, Parker Hesse, Erik Harris, Damiere Byrd, Anthony Rush, Dean Marlowe, Germain Ifedi, Vincent Taylor, Elijah Wilkerson, Anthony Firkser, Auden Tate, Khadarel Hodge, Nick Kwiatkoski, Geronimo Allison, Qadree Ollison, Jalen Tabor, Jeremy McNichols, Colby Gossett, Cameron Batson
McGary will likely play his final season in Atlanta this year since the team didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. Carter, Smith, Zaccheaus, Oliver, Ifedi, Firkser, and Evans could probably all be brought back in 2023, depending on how each player’s respective seasons go this year. Williams, Hesse, Harris, Byrd, Rush Marlowe, Wilkerson, Tate, Hodge, Kwiatkoski, Allison, Ollison, Tabor, McNichols, Gossett, and Batson are all in the last tier of contract-year Falcons. Some might be brought back in 2023, some might not, and some might not even make the final 53-man roster in 2022.
The Falcons will have more cap space next offseason than they’ve had in a very long time. Fans should be excited to see what Fontenot can actually do with some breathing room. The team will be able to hand out multiple lucrative contracts to difference-making free agents and really begin taking the first steps toward relevancy in the new era of Falcons football.