In the wake of the news that Jacob Tuioti-Mariner has been extended by the Falcons, I decided to take a look at the other impending free agents to see who Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith should consider retaining. I think bringing back JTM was the right move, but I don’t believe the new regime will look to keep very many others. This is a list of a few players that are worth rostering on a cheap contract. Just as a note, I’m pretty 50/50 on bringing back Keanu Neal, so I’ll leave him off the list for now.
K Younghoe Koo
Let’s get this one out of the way — Younghoe Koo is an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA), which means exactly what it sounds like; Atlanta has exclusive negotiating rights with him. This will allow the Falcons to keep him on a minimum contract for another season before extending him to a more lucrative contract.
CB Darqueze Dennard
If Atlanta can get Dennard back for around the meager $990k contract that he played on in 2020, I would be pretty pleased. I was a big fan of this signing from day one, and he played pretty well for the Falcons. This is a deep cornerback class, and I already have my eyes on other options like Cam Sutton and Desmond King. However, if the Falcons strike out, they could do a lot worse than Dennard.
WR Laquon Treadwell
Treadwell played pretty well for the Falcons in limited action, and even though wide receiver is a position of strength, you never know when injury will strike. Treadwell was a massive bust coming out of Ole Miss, but I think his career would be a different story if not for his gruesome leg injury in college. He still has some potential in this offense, and I’d be happy to ink him for one more season to see if he makes an impact under Arthur Smith.
TE Jaeden Graham
I’m a big Jaeden Graham fan, and even if the Falcons bring in another tight-end like Mo Alie-Cox, I like Graham’s potential as a vertical threat. Dirk Koetter completely ignored him in 2020, but he averaged over 14 yards per catch in 2019. I think a former tight ends coach like Arthur Smith could really unlock that vertical potential.
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