ATLANTA FALCONS (7-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OT Kaleb McGary; CB Isaiah Oliver; LB Rashaan Evans; P Bradley Pinion; FB Keith Smith; S Erik Harris; G Elijah Wilkinson; WR Olamide Zaccheaus; WR Damiere Byrd; G Colby Gossett; TE MyCole Pruitt; LB Nick Kwiatkoski; DT Jaleel Johnson; OT Germain Ifedi; WR KhaDarel Hodge; CB Michael Ford; TE Anthony Firkser; CB Rashad Fenton; OT Chuma Edoga; DE Matt Dickerson; LS Beau Brinkley; DT Vincent Taylor
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Abdullah Anderson
NEEDS: After being burdened by a league-high $63 million in dead salary cap money last season, the Falcons now have the second-most available cap space in the league. That gives general manager Terry Fontenot enviable options. Fontenot says the team still must make prudent decisions instead of trying to grab headlines by investing unhealthy portions of the money on one position, including quarterback. The team’s first move was to re-sign linebacker Lorenzo Carter. Another linebacker on the free-agent list, Rashaan Evans, was the team’s leading tackler. The team did not place a franchise tag on right tackle Kaleb McGary, making that position a priority. The offensive line stands to lose another starter, left guard Elijah Wilkinson. Fontenot and owner Arthur Blank have praised 2022 rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder but have not said Ridder is the 2023 starter. The Falcons plan to add help at quarterback through free agency or the draft after releasing Marcus Mariota. Also, pass rush remains a crucial need after the team’s 21 sacks in 2022 ranked above only Chicago’s 20.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $63.7 million. —
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