The Falcons have a lot of needs to fill this offseason and with the salary cap lowered this season due to COVID-19, it’s no secret the Atlanta franchise faces a tough task moving forward.
Here is a list in order of teams who have the most money to spend.
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The Falcons Current Salary Cap ‘Hell’
Falcons’ new general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith will have to put their heads together to figure out a solid roster under an extremely tight salary cap. There has not been an exact number determined yet, but the number $180 has been thrown around as the minimum amount.
The Falcons will have some unused cap space over from last year with a whopping rollover of $1.7 million, according to the NFLPA’s public salary report. However, being nearly $28 million over the projected cap for 2021, that won’t be much much.
With about 50% of a roster to fill, the Falcons are going to have, make sever more cuts, reconstruct contracts again this season, meaning they’ll hold off on paying players.
Smith and Fontenot plan to take their time but the upside is that they understand they plenty of talent to build off of.
PFF Analyst Isn’t Sure Arthur Smith Should Have Joined the Falcons’ Mess
Smith went from having an “easy” job to being tasked with handling the Falcons’ mess and NFL host Mark Florio doesn’t even think Smith should have avoided accepting the position.
“If I was Arthur Smith, I don’t know if this is the job I would have taken”, Pro Football Focus’ Mike Florio said during his show. ”Stepping into this cap mess with a team that’s just had this lingering frustration that traces back to Super Bowl 51…he’s going to be a hot candidate next year with Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill. I would have waited if I were him. But he didn’t. And we’ll see what he can do. I just think it’s going to be a challenge right out the gates because he’s not going to have the same quality of players that he had in Tennessee on both sides of the ball.”
Another upside is the Falcons have the coaching they need to get over this financial hump and turn things around. During his time in Tennesse, Smith led one of the most powerful rushing attacks in NFL history as Henry became the eighth player in the league to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. Henry’s 2,027 rushing yards currently rank fifth all-time and put the Titans at second-best for rushing offense last season.
While Smith had Henry to build off of, he managed to revitalized Tannehill’s career. In two seasons, the former No. 8 overall draft pick started 26 games and totaled 6,561 passing yards with 55 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a 110.6 passer rating. Tannehill also earned his first Pro Bowl invite in 2019 and was named the Comeback Player of the Year.
Smith is the silver lining here, people!