The Atlanta Falcons offseason is underway as the NFL moves closer to free agency and the draft in April. Yesterday, Dan Quinn held a press conference that produced a few interesting moments.
The Atlanta Falcons are in the middle of a very important offseason after the disappointment of missing the playoffs the last two seasons. Arthur Blank liked what he saw at the end of last season, when the Falcons went 6-2 in their final 8 games, to retain Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff for the upcoming season. With the cap room at a minimum moving into this offseason, Quinn and Dimitroff are going to have some difficult decisions before next season. Yesterday, Dan Quinn addressed some of those choices.
Going into free agency, Austin Hooper has been the name at the top of potential free agents. Despite an injury-shortened season, Hooper caught 75 passes for 787 yards and 6 touchdowns. It was a very productive season for Hooper who now wants to be paid like one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Reportedly, Hooper is looking for a contract that would pay him around 13 million a season. Yesterday, Quinn announced Hooper would be allowed to go into free agency, but the Falcons planned to keep talks alive between each other.
Along with Hooper, it was announced by Quinn that De’Vondre Campbell and Wes Schweitzer would also be allowed to test their market value in free agency. From the context clues surrounding these three players, it sounds like all three could be in new cities for the next season.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit to come from Quinn’s press conference was the future of Takk McKinley. Initially, Quinn stated the team would not be picking up his fifth-year option, allowing Takk to join free agency after this upcoming season. However, after being asked to clarify, Quinn stated the team has yet to make a definitive decision on Takk’s future with the team. Quinn blamed this slip on a misinterpreted question, but it sounds like he might have given the real answer the first time. For now, the team is still pondering on what to do with Takk’s fifth-year.
The Falcons offseason is shaping to be a busy one. With a multitude of tough decisions, it seems the Falcons are destined to have some key departures from last season’s team. However, with the team in cap purgatory at the moment, the Falcons have little room to work with players such as Hooper or Campbell. Stay tuned as more develops as the NFL moves closer to the draft and free agency.