With training camp around the corner, the Atlanta Falcons have time to take a look at free agents who are still unsigned. Here is a list of some players who would be interesting last minute free agent targets:
With only rookie Damontae Kazee and other undrafted safeties able to fill the free safety slot, Jarirus Byrd would make sense for the Falcons.
If he is willing to take a small contract to join a Super Bowl contender, he would serve well as competition for Ricardo Allen. At 30-years-old, Byrd had his best season tackling last season, which is not always good for a safety, but it should only add more criticism of the New Orleans Saints’ mediocre defense.
His contract with the Saints last year was ridiculous. It is not his fault a team overpaid him, but if he continues to seek a big time contract, odds are he will miss out on the 2017-18 NFL season.
It needs to be kept in mind: the players on this list aren’t guarantees to make the 53-man roster. These players are meant to provide competition in training camp and preseason. Tre’ Jackson could have the potential to be a diamond in the rough.
Plagued by injuries in his run with the New England Patriots, Jackson had major potential coming out of Florida State. A contact with him could offer him one last attempt at an NFL career. The truth is he would have to pass a physical before any chance of him signing.
He’d provide competition on a depth chart thin at interior offensive linemen.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but Dorial Green-Beckham might be the exception.
A valuable mix of talent and height convinced NFL front offices Green-Beckham had the ability to be a solid pro. His potential never met the NFL field.
He was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles this past offseason. It is worth bringing him into camp. He has yet to pass 1,000 yards in his pro career after two healthy seasons. The Falcons should bring him in to get a feel if he is coachable, or a lost cause.
It is hard to say “no” to signing a future hall-of-famer. Dwight Freeney may be old, but he still contributed to the Falcons last season.
He is what he is: an aged veteran to store away until the playoffs. He had a sack in the Super Bowl and is a smart player to have in the locker room. Imagine Kevin Costner’s movie Tin Cup, where a seasoned baseball catcher helps teach a pitching prospect the ins and outs of the sport. Freeney can play the role of Costner, teaching passionate Takkarist McKinley the ropes of being a professional.
Plus, adding Freeney’s spin move to McKinley’s arsenal would be scary for opposing quarterbacks.
Again, this list is about brining in competition into camp. Matt Schaub and Matt Simms may seem like suitable second stringers, but fans won’t agree with that statement if anything happens to quarterback Matt Ryan.
Enter Colin Kaepernick, an experienced quarterback who proved, when on a good team, can be plugged into the system. Kaepernick’s off the field noise is not the hurdle here, it is whether he is willing to take a back-up role with back-up money.
If he decides he wants to help a winning team, he would be a reliable “Plan-B” this season.
Kick the tires over… and over… and over again.
If the Falcons want to take a closer look at some veterans, they should not hesitate and grab them while they can.
Injuries happen in the NFL, so it is better to have experienced help rather than scrambling mid-season to find an answer.