Atlanta Falcons: Time To Sign Free Agents Is Running Short

Atlanta Falcons, Shane Ray (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Shane Ray (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Tre Boston (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Even though he isn’t a big name player, Tre Boston is the final free agent that I feel is worthy of the Atlanta Falcons considering. He spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals and can play both safety positions. He started 13 games in Arizona last season and posted totals of 79 tackles and three interceptions. This earned him the third highest grade of all Arizona defensive players. He’s only 26 years old, so it’s a bit surprising that he has yet to find work.

Clearing Cap Space

In order for the Atlanta Falcons to make any of these signing possible, they need to clear some cap space. According to the Dirty Birds only have 129,000 dollars of salary cap space remaining. Looking at the roster, there is no one that Atlanta can cut, without creating another hole or incurring a large cap hit in dead money. So in order for the Falcons to strengthen the roster, the only way to create space would be to quickly come to an agreement with Grady Jarrett or Julio Jones on a new contract. Grady Jarrett is on the franchise tag, that will pay him 15.2 million dollars this season. Signing him to a new contract would lower that cap number significantly. This would allow Atlanta to bring in a couple of the mentioned free agents on one year contracts, thus preserving future cap space to resign other young talent like linebacker Deion Jones.

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Though Atlanta is typically known for getting contracts done quickly for the guys they desire to keep, this is the second offseason in a row that important contract negotiations have lingered deep into the offseason. Last offseason Matt Ryan did not sign his contract extension until May 3. By that time the free agent pool was so thin, that signing defensive tackle Terrell McClain was the only significant move the Falcons were able to make with the savings. In order to maximize their roster potential, the Atlanta Falcons need to get back to the practice of getting new contracts and contract extensions done prior to the start of free agency. To maximize this year’s roster and further the chances of returning to the post season, the Atlanta Falcons need to sign Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett to new contracts as quickly as possible.