The NFL trade deadline is rapidly approaching and the Atlanta Falcons could have some bait that other teams are fishing for.
The Falcons didn’t do anything fun last year, so maybe under a new regime, they just might bite.
CBS NFL analyst, Patrik Walker proposed some possible shake-up scenarios that we may or may not see in the next few days.
In one of his scenarios, he has the Tennessee Titans trading for Falcons’ veteran tight end Hayden Hursts.
Here is his reason on why it could work for both parties:
It felt as if the decision to draft Kyle Pitts put Hurst in a bit of a bind, and the fact Pitts has now rattled off two consecutive 100-yard games only raises more questions. Hurst is set to have contract talks with the Falcons, having proven himself a viable starter in the league, but he may not get his market value in Atlanta when the time comes. If you’re the Titans — a team that’s now presumably righted its ship — you’re drooling at the thought of adding Hurst to an offense that features Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, with the trade for Jones opening a line of communication between Tennessee and Georgia that should be used again to send Hurst to Nashville.
The Titans already took Jones from the Falcons, so why not take another one of their other top veterans? Only at a good price––of course.
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The Falcons Now Have Kyle Pitts
When head coach Arthur Smith drafted Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall, he envisioned running a two tight-end formation system on offense. However, that hasn’t been the case as Pitts has stolen the spotlight.
That doesn’t mean that Hurst isn’t any good, it just means that he won’t get the action he was hoping for this season…nor seasons to come. This brings us to his contract. Hurst’s is a free agent at the end of the season and if all goes well, he’ll be looking for more money that the Falcons likely won’t have on hand with their ongoing messy salary cap situation.
So, why not let him go now for something in return? Of course, it will hurt letting him reunite with the “forever Falcon” Julio Jones in Tennessee, but they’ve been known to be fair traders.
Hurst’s Production This Season
Hurst hasn’t been a key factor on the Falcons offense this season and that’s likely due to the heavy use of running back Mike Davis and dual-threat Cordarelle Patterson.
Through six games this season, Hursts has 16 receptions for 138 total yards and one touchdown. He’s still one of the team’s top four receivers but with several weapons for Matt Ryan to use, he’s never going to get the targets he longs for––especially with Pitts now in the picture.
Going to a team that is in need of a tight end, or an explosive offense where you’ll see more action without a rookie unicorn stealing your spotlight seems like a dream for a tight end who has plenty of juice left in him.
Not to mention the fact that his $5.4 million option is coming up in 2022 and the Falcons are going to be tight on money, so once again, they’re going to look out for Pitts over Hurst.