Prime Trade Candidates Offense
Austin Hooper – Tight End
Many fans will scoff at this suggestion and understandably so. Austin Hooper has been very good this season. In fact, he is putting together a career year in the last season of his rookie contract.
Entering the week seven games, Austin Hooper led all tight ends and was number four in the NFL with 42 catches. His 480 yards placed him behind only Travis Kelce at his position and ranked number nine in the entire league. Hooper also caught his fourth touchdown pass of the season against the Los Angeles Rams and is on pace to make double digit trips to the end zone.
Austin Hooper gets the benefit of seeing single coverage almost exclusively, due to the attention that wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley garner on a weekly basis. Hooper deserves credit for taking full advantage of the one on one matchups.
Austin Hooper has played so well that he just may have priced himself off of the Atlanta Falcons roster. The five highest-paid tight ends in the NFL, average nearly 9.3 million dollars per year. Hooper’s play has put him in line for a contract in that range.
However with the deplorable state of the Atlanta Falcons defense, the team just can’t afford to keep spending money on the offensive side of the football. As a team that has spent heavily on offense in recent years, its time that the team balances its cap spending.
Should a team offer a second-round draft pick or even a third and fifth-round pick for Austin Hooper, the Atlanta Falcons should pull the trigger. However, it appears that the team has other plans.
Alex Mack – Center
Veteran Alex Mack has been a stabilizing force for the Atlanta Falcons offensive line since he was signed away from the Cleveland Browns as a free agent prior to the 2015 season. He was a key cog in the team’s Super Bowl run that year and displayed the courage and roughness of a warrior, by playing many snaps in the big game with a broken leg.
Alex Mack has shown some signs of decline in the last couple of seasons. Yet he is still a solid player. In fact, he’s one of only seven Atlanta Falcons, to rank in the top 20 of his respective position. Mack currently ranks as the number 18 center in the NFL.
Alex is likely to be a salary-cap casualty in the offseason, due to the Atlanta Falcons projecting to be over the salary cap next season. The best thing for both parties would be a trade at this point. The Falcons could collect another draft pick and Alex Mack would have the opportunity to collect his first Super Bowl ring.