Atlanta will be getting back $10.75M which will be used to pay the 2020 draftees since they have yet to receive any.
However, due to the top-51 rule (you count only the top 51 salaries for cap purposes), the team will only be spending $6.84 million against the cap leaving $7.02 million left for additional free agents and some “emergency” spending.
Falcons Players With Salary Cap of $10 Million Or More
Six players heading in the 2020 season will have salary-cap numbers of $10 million or more. These are the Falcons top players.
1. Wide receiver Julio Jones ($20.4 million)
2. Quarterback Matt Ryan ($18.9 million)
3. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett ($12.3 million)
4. Left tackle Jake Matthews ($10.7 million)
5. Center Alex Mack ($10.5 million)
6. Linebacker Deion Jones ($10.3 million)
Why Haven’t The Falcons Signed The Rookies?
Last year, the Falcons were signed by May 16. This year has been a little different due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Players aren’t training at the facility so the team hasn’t had to sign them as fast for liability or insurance purposes. Players who are working out on their own are responsible for any injuries until properly signed.
With the top-51 rule, only the players with the 51 largest cap hits for the season will be counted toward the salary cap.
According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first-round pick A.J. Terrell will have a cap number of roughly $2.6 million and make the top 51. The Falcons’ second-round pick Marlon Davidson will also make the list with $1.2 million. And third-rounder Matt Hennessy hits the cut-off with $860,000.
Mykal Walker ($790,000) and Jaylin Hawkins (760,000) and seventh-round pick Sterling Hofrichter ($630,000) will not make the top 51.
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Falcons Get Creative With Cap
Heading into the draft and free agency, Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn knew they would have to get creative with the cap space.
“We look at where we are spending our money and we try to decide how we are going to adjust. Sometimes, it takes more creativity in a year where you sign a lot of players to high contracts coming into a year verses another year when things are a little less active and it becomes a little easier to navigate”, Dimitroff told AtlantaFalcons.com in January.
Well, it looks like they got creative cutting players like Desmond Trufant and DeVondre Campbell, which saved them a lot of space and replaced them with better players for a better price.
The Falcons also took to reconstructing current players’ contracts such as Matt Ryan, Allen Bailey, and Jake Matthews. This created about $10.5 million for the Falcons to work with.
Did The Falcons Meet Their Goal?
Falcons GM told Ledbetter that they had one expectation this offseason.
“I don’t know what the expectations were, I know our own internal expectations were that we were going to potentially grab two to three people that were going to help us,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “They were going to be projected as potential starters for us.”