In many ways, 2019 was a tale of two seasons for the Atlanta Falcons defense. Much in the same way their former first-round pick edge defender has endured a tale of two careers over his five-year stint with the organization.
Now, it appears that the former first-round pick will enter the third phase of his professional career, as the team has announced its decision to move on from a player who was once perceived as a centerpiece of their defense for years to come.
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Falcons Will Not Re-Sign Vic Beasley
The Falcons have wasted no time getting their roster in order for the start of next season. Just a day after the Kansas City Chiefs were crowned Super Bowl LIV Champions, the Atlanta Falcons took it upon themselves to announce a roster move that will affect their 2020 roster.
The Falcons announced via Twitter, along with a write up on AtlantaFalcons.com, that the organization has opted to move on from edge-rusher Vic Beasley. They decided to “not pursue negotiations” with the former first-team All-Pro this offseason.
Beasley’s Free Agent Value Will Be Intriguing
On one end, the news of Beasley hitting the open market this offseason sounds enticing. The idea of adding a former NFL sack leader (15.5 sacks in 2016) and first-team All-Pro would assumably be an added benefit to any NFL roster.
However, there’s also another highly notable side of Beasley’s resume, one that will likely scare away some suitors.
Beasley has noticeably taken a step back in recent years, never once regaining his dominant form from 2016. In fact, in 2018 Beasley’s play dropped off so severely that Pro Football Focus ranked the former Clemson star dead last amongst all eligible edge rushers on the season, 103rd out of 103.
In Beasley’s defense, he took the grade in stride, responding “lol yikes” to the PFF ATL Falcons page on Twitter.
Beasley went on to slightly redeem his reputation in 2019. While he is still nowhere near the upper-echelon of edge defenders in today’s NFL, he proved to be a serviceable defender who can still at times get after quarterbacks, with some help from schematics. Beasley registered eight sacks in 2019, his most since his infamous 2016 season and the second-most in his five-year NFL career. Still, a 58.9 PFF grade is nothing to write home about.
Despite his uneven stint in the NFL, Beasley has a lot working in his favor this offseason. For one, his name and draft position. Many still envision Beasley as a sack artist, mainly due to his placement as a top-10 draft pick back in the day. Also, he’s proven capable of being productive. While he may be a few years removed from notable statistical output, a team will likely believe he can get close to 2016-Beasley production once inserted into their defensive scheme.
Still, a few seasons ago, Beasley seemed primed to be one of the league’s highest-paid defenders. Now, just a day removed from the end of the 2019 season, the team that drafted him is so desperate to cut bait with him, they took to social media to announce that they will not negotiate with him this offseason.
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