Teams Identifying Falcons Trade Targets

While standout contract-year Broncos (and Von Miller) have cropped up in trade rumors, teams are also monitoring select Falcons. Atlanta has slunk to 1-4 and has a few key veterans on expiring contracts.

Vic Beasley, De’Vondre Campbell and Austin Hooper are on some teams’ radars, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. The Falcons gave megadeals to a defensive lineman (Grady Jarrett), a linebacker (Deion Jones) and a pass catcher (Julio Jones) this summer but have the above starters in contract years. This year’s trade deadline is Oct. 29.

Arthur Blank said the Falcons are not considering staff changes, but with this veteran team struggling (and the Redskins firing Jay Gruden), Dan Quinn‘s seat may be the NFL’s hottest. The Falcons are 8-13 since advancing to the divisional round in 2017, and they’ve gone through several coordinators since the Super Bowl LI collapse.

Pro Football Focus graded Beasley as its worst full-time edge defender in 2018. The site again has the 2015 first-round pick toward the bottom this season. Beasley (1.5 sacks, five QB hits) has nearly $10MM remaining on his 2019 fifth-year option, making a trade a tougher sell. The 27-year-old pass rusher was a 2016 All-Pro, however, after racking up 15.5 sacks during Atlanta’s NFC title slate.

Campbell has started alongside Jones since the duo’s 2016 rookie season, rates as PFF’s No. 33 off-ball linebacker and is finishing out a fourth-round contract. Less than $2MM remains on Campbell’s 2019 salary. He has made a Falcons-best 48 tackles and forced two fumbles this season. Finishing up a third-round contract, Hooper has served as the Falcons’ top tight end for multiple seasons. His 363 yards in 2019 rank third among tight ends.

Projected to be more than $10MM over the 2020 cap, the Falcons will almost certainly have to let some of these UFAs-to-be walk if they are not traded. The Falcons could fetch 2021 compensatory picks for them, however, depending on their 2020 free agency activity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Teams Identifying Falcons Trade Targets

  1. politicsNbaseball

    Any chance they’ll try and trade Ridley? They just don’t need him.

    • JT19

      Wait what? Why would they not need a young, talented WR on a rookie contract with two years remaining on his deal (plus the 5th year option)? It would make more sense for them to move on from Sanu first than Ridley.

    • Matthew Heywood

      Why would you trade the young Wr?? If anything see if you could get a lot for Julio and save all that money

      • politicsNbaseball

        Because of his trade value. Not to mention that Julio and Sanu would still be one of the better combos in the NFL

        • JT19

          I mean they wouldn’t be getting that great of value back in a trade. I’d imagine the best case scenario offer would be a mid-to-late second round pick or like a third rounder and another late round pick. Not a Falcons fan so I don’t really know what their needs are off the top of my head, but it would probably be tough to find a player-for-player swap too as the Falcons would probably want a talented guy still on his rookie deal (or maybe just starting their new deal).

          Agreed that Julio and Sanu (and Hooper) would still form a really solid combo but with Hooper set to hit free agency this year, and Sanu being a 2021 free agent, the Falcons are better off holding onto Ridley at least until Hooper’s situation is settled and they decide on whether or not they would need to cut Sanu for cap space. There’s just not much of a reason to move on from a player like Ridley when there are some big contracts on the Falcons’ books. Ridley’s rookie deal makes it where the team can keep him through a rebuild/retool but he’s also talented enough to be worth holding onto if the team is really trying to make another run.

  2. crazylarry

    They need to trade Matt “ never met ice” Ryan but who would want that contract?

  3. playicy

    They need a quarterback, because Matty ice isn’t as good as a QB as people think he is! Falcons haven’t been the same team since losing to the browns last year

  4. crosseyedlemon

    The Braves give up 10 runs in one inning and yet it’s Matt Ryan’s pitching that gets criticized…that’s just crazy.

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