Last month the Falcons let starting tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, and guard Wes Schweitzer test free agency. All have found new homes, leaving the Falcons scurrying to fill the holes that their starters once did with talented yet affordable players.
While Hooper was the first to go and quickly picked up by the Browns on Monday before free agency was officially open. Schweitzer followed shortly after and landed a new home with the Washinton Redskins.
The 6’5″, 330 lbs guard and center reportedly signed a 3-year contract worth $13.5 million. He has started 36 games for the Falcons since being drafted in 2016.
All About the Money
To the Falcons, it’s all about the money right now. Schweitzer along with the two others could have stayed in Atlanta if they wanted to but they would have probably of settled for a shorter deal and less money in the end.
Schweitzer is a versatile player that the Falcons are so hell-bent on finding since they don’t have enough. When he first signed with the Falcons as their sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, he came on as a left tackle.
He didn’t play at all through his rookie season. When 2017 rolled around, he switched to guard. He started at guard for all 16 games and the Falcons advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs that year.
Eventually, Schweitzer ended up moving from right guard to left in 2018 after the starter, Andy Levitre suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3. He started the remainder of the season at the left guard and proved to be a reliable player at his position.
Schweitzer also served as a backup center, although he played most of his time at guard. In his four seasons in Atlanta, he appeared in 46 games and started in 36.
Not a Huge Loss
Wes only produced a positive outcome for the Falcons, but he wasn’t as big of a loss as Hooper or Campbell. None of them are irreplaceable.
The depth chart on offense still looks pretty good without Schweitzer.
Wide receiver: Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Christian Blake
Wide receiver: Calvin Ridley, Olamide Zaccheaus, Brandon Powell, Devin Gray
Tight end: Hayden Hurst, Jaeden Graham, Carson Meier
Left tackle: Jake Matthews, John Wetzel
Left guard: James Carpenter, Jamon Brown
Center: Alex Mack, Sean Harlow
Right guard: Chris Lindstrom, Matt Gono
Right tackle: Kaleb McGary
Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Kurt Benkert, Danny Etling
Running back: Brian Hill, Ito Smith, Qadree Ollison, Craig Reynolds
Fullback: Keith Smith
The Falcons’ main worries lie on defense and versatile players can be moved around on offense if need be.
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NFL Not His First Choice
As a Falcons fan, you have to be happy for Schweitzer considering the NFL wasn’t where he thought he’d end up. He believed his main duty was to serve his country as a Marine.
He didn’t even start on his varsity team until his senior year of high school. He was on his way to get a physical and swear in when New Mexico called and offered him a scholarship. He received six official offers and eventually chose San Jose State which would forever change his destiny.
Can’t help but wish Schweitzer good luck through the rest of his NFL career.