Welcome to the joys of the offseason!
Free agency doesn’t officially kick off until March 17th, but below we will take a look at who is set to become a free agent in addition to who the Falcons end up signing or releasing in the coming days.
The Falcons currently have 50% of their roster vacant and have made just one signing so far.
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Unrestricted free agents
An unrestricted free agent is any player with four or more years in the league whose contract has expired and is free to negotiate with any team.
–Matt Schaub QB: After 16 years in the NFL and serving as Matt Ryan’s backup for four of those, Schaub is set to officially retire.
–Todd Gurley RB: Played in 15 games for the Falcons in 2020 and rushed for 678 yards on 195 carries, and scored nine scores.
–Brian Hill RB: Hill rushed for career-high of 465 yards and one touchdown and caught 25 passes for 199 yards in 2020.
–Laquon Treadwell WR: Last season, Treadwell caught six passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons.
–Luke Stocker TE: After appearing in all 16 games last season, Stocker is entering his second season with the Falcons.
–Alex Mack C: Mack’s 2020 season ended two games early following a concussion. The veteran has played 12 seasons in Atlanta started 78 games.
–John Wetzel T: Wetzel has appeared in just six games in two seasons in Atlanta.
–Justin McCray G: McCray started two games for the Falcons in 2020.
– Damontae Kazee S: Drafted in 2017 and played in four games before a season-ending Achilles injury. Kazee has recorded a total of 10 interceptions and five forced fumbles in his career.
–Sharrod Neasman S: In his fifth season in Atlanta, Neasman forced and recovered one fumble and recorded 27 tackles.
–Keanu Neal SS: Neal spent two seasons on the IR and bounced back in 2020, recording 100 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery in 14 starts.
–Steven Means DE: In his second season, Means recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles.
–Charles Harris DE: Harris recorded three sacks for Atlanta in 2020.
–Darqueze Dennard CB: Dennard recorded 36 tackles and one interception in six starts last season.
–Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB: Wreh-Wilson had three interceptions last season for the Falcons.
–LaRoy Reynolds LB: Reynolds appeared in all 16 games in 2020 and forced one fumble, and had 12 tackles.
–Edmond Robinson LB: In his first season in Atlanta, Robinson saw action in 13 games and recorded 15 tackles.
Restricted free agents
A restricted free agent means a player is currently still signed to a team but is free to look at other contract offers from other teams aka “test the open market.” Another club cannot match the current team’s deal.
–Matt Gono T: Gono has stepped up on the offensive line over the past two season for the Falcons and has seen playing time in 21 games in that span.
–Brandon Powell WR: Powell was used as the Falcons’ main returner last season and also saw action at receiver, scoring two touchdowns.
Exclusive rights free agents
An exclusive rights free agent is a player with two or fewer years in the league and their contract has expired but they can only negotiate with the current team they are with. But, the team can release their rights, allowing them to negotiate elsewhere.
–Younghoe Koo K: 2020 Pro Bowler, Koo made 37 of his 39 field-goal attempts and 33 of 36 extra-point attempts.
–Jacob Tuioti-Mariner DT: Tuioti-Mariner appeared in all 16 games for the Falcons last season, tallying 31 tackles, five quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, and one sack.
–Jaeden Graham TE: Graham caught three passes for 25 yards in 2020.
–Christian Blake WR: In year two with the Falcons, Blake caught 13 passes for 141 yards.
–Tyler Hall CB: Hall played in nine games and recorded six tackles in the 2020 season.
Falcons First Signing of the Season
On Monday, the Atlanta Falcons announced they have signed former Wake Forest star punter, Dom Maggio, to a one-year deal.
We have signed P Dom Maggio. https://t.co/k0tMJV3eg8
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 8, 2021
Maggio was originally picked up by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL draft. Baltimore later released him ahead of the official season.
The 23-year-old spent his collegiate career at Wake Forest where he appeared in 52 career games and finished second in school history with 291 punts and 12,703 yards. Maggio reached a benchmark ranking third in school history where he recorded 101 career punts inside the 20 and had a career-long punt of 80 yards and finished with a 43.7 career punting average.