It’s official. Well, almost official. Vic Beasley will be returning for his fifth season when the Atlanta Falcons pick up his option. Dan Quinn stated he plans to bring back the defensive lineman to the team in the 2019 season. This news has been met with a lot of criticism. But is it the right move?
Vic coming back on a one-year “show me” deal will cost the Atlanta Falcons 12.8 million dollars. And that will all be taken from the cap this season. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Desmond Trufant are the only players on the roster who will cost more than Vic Beasley in the upcoming season. Unless the Falcons are planning for Vic to return to his 2016 form, this is a bad move for the Falcons financially speaking. With so many holes on both sides of the ball, it makes little sense to pay an edge rusher who doesn’t produce sacks or tackles at a high level.
I understand why Dan Quinn doesn’t want to give up on Vic Beasley, his first ever draft pick as a head coach, but this deal feels like it’s not well thought out. A restructured contract would have made the most sense while still helping the team come off some of that money. Maybe that’s still a possibility, but as of now, we are going to be enduring one more season with Vic Beasley as the premier pass-rusher for the Falcons. That’s not great.
Since the 15.5 sack 2016 season, Vic has followed up with 5 sacks in the last two seasons. So, does that mean the 2016 season was the outlier? It’s starting to feel that way. Vic has struggled to make an impact on the field outside of that 2016 season. So, what was different about the 2016 season? The Falcons had their record-breaking offense humming that season.
That meant teams were down to the Falcons and trying to play catch-up. That gave Vic ample opportunities to rush the passer while the other team tried to keep with the Falcons offense. These last two seasons have been a different story. The Falcons struggled under Steve Sarkisian in his first season and last season the whole team struggled. This is why Vic’s chances to get to the opposing team’s quarterback have shriveled up. We can’t blame all of Vic’s troubles on the lackluster offense, but that kind of offensive production has not able to be replicated by the Falcons since the 2016 season.
Dan Quinn is going to be the Falcons defensive coordinator in this upcoming season. Quinn must believe he can be the guy to fix Vic Beasley and turn him into a productive pass rusher again. Beasley is a streaky pass rusher who gets his sacks in bunches when he does get them. In the 2016 season, Vic had three-sack games twice over that season. But had seven games where he didn’t record a sack at all. Quinn wants to make Vic more consistent in his performance. And with Vic being Quinn’s first ever draft pick, he thinks he’s going to be the guy to fix the tarnished pass rusher. By making this move, I think Quinn has put his and Vic’s job on the line. If Vic and the defense are stellar next season, they will both be back. Another uninspired season, they’ll both be looking for new homes.
This whole Vic Beasley saga has been strange. The Falcons have been shredding contracts left and right to make room for Grady Jarrett and Julio Jones’ money. And this team still needs offensive and defensive line help. Well, by retaining Vic at the 12.8 million dollar spot the Falcons have shored up one spot, but it’s a heavy price tag. The Falcons are now taking a 12 million dollar gamble that Vic will return to his 2016 form. Making this move means the Falcons will have to go cheap on other areas of need, most likely the offensive line.
That’s not a good way to protect our most valuable investment, Matt Ryan. Dan Quinn is taking a huge gamble by bringing Vic back at that price tag. This is the kind of gamble that will cost people their jobs if it doesn’t go well. I hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well.