Atlanta Falcons 2024 “Must Re-Sign” Free Agents

Atlanta Falcons 2024 “Must Re-Sign” Free Agents
Calais Campbell, Nate Landman, and Jeff Okudah

Continuing on moving our way from “worst to first”, we come to our first 7-10 team from 2023-24 NFL season, The Atlanta Falcons! Atlanta finished as the eighth worst team in the NFL despite three other teams finishing with the same record as them, because the Falcons literally had the easiest “strength of schedule” in the NFL last season. Their opponents had a whopping .429 winning percentage, yet the Falcons were only able to put together seven wins. Maybe it’s because they drafted a running back (Bijan Robinson) in the first round of the draft last year when they already had a stud at the RB1 position (Tyler Allgeier, 1,035 rushing yards with 4.9 yards per carry in 2022). Or maybe it’s because Quarterback, Desmond Ridder is NOT “the guy”. If the Falcons organization had listened to me before the draft…or before the season had started…or during the 2023-24 season but BEFORE Kirk Cousins was injured (yes, they should have traded for him!)…they might not have had to fire their former Head Coach, Arthur Smith. This team was kind of a predictable train wreck that, for whatever reason, analysts actually thought would win the division. HA! This year, the train wreck is starting early in Atlanta with the hiring of Raheem Morris as their new Head Coach. Morris was HC in TB for three seasons and finished with a combined record of 17-31, finishing LAST in the division two of three years! Then, as an Interim Head Coach in Atlanta in 2020, he finished 4-7 and finished LAST again! Good luck this time around, I guess! Let’s take a downfield read to see who their free agents are, and who they should be re-signing to NOT finish last again under Coach Morris.


Atlanta’s offense finished 22nd in passing yards, 9th in rushing yards, 17th in total yards and 26th in points scored. The Atlanta Falcon player with the most rushing TDs was NOT their first-round draft pick, Bijan Robinson. Nor was Running Back, Tyler Allgeier, who finished 14th in the league for rushing yards in 2022. It was QB, Desmond Ridder, who carried the ball only 53 times, averaging 3.6 yards per carry, and who had five touchdowns. Atlanta’s top TD RECEIVER was…Bijan Robinson, who had four, which was also tied for 54th in NFL. I guess that means that the Falcons can get rid of their expensive Tight End, Jonnu Smith, right? Absolutely. The good news for the Falcons? Along with Smith, there is not a single player on their offense that I would consider to be a “Must Re-Sign”, so they can go out and spend some money finding the right pieces to this offense.

Who are the Falcons Free Agents? I’m glad you asked. QB, Logan Woodside, who went three of four for 27 yards and a pick last year. RB, Cordarrelle Patterson, who carried the ball 50 times for 181 yards (3.6 YPC), had nine receptions for 38 yards and one TD last year, and will be 33 years old starting next season. Wide Receivers, Mack Hollins, Van Jefferson, Scott Miller, and KhaDarel Hodge. Hollins had 18 receptions for 251 yards and no TDs, Jefferson had twelve receptions for 101 yards and no TDs, Miller had eleven receptions for 161 yards and two TDs, and Hodge had 14 receptions for 232 yards and no TDs. The only player I would even consider keeping from the WR group is Jefferson, and only on a cheap deal just because he’s still young and has some decent playing experience. Fullback, Keith Smith, and offensive linemen Ethan Greenidge and Matt Hennessy never play, so they’re expendable. Backup Center, Ryan Neuzil is a solid backup who started four games and played in 17% of the snaps last season, and has not had a penalty in two years. I would keep him as an insurance police, but he’s not a “Must Re-Sign”.


The Falcons defense had its bright spots…but mostly it was tarnished. They were 8th in passing yards allowed, and 11th in total yards allowed, but that’s where “shine” stops. The Falcons were 18th in points allowed, 20th in rushing yards allowed, 21st in sacks, 27th in interceptions and 29th in total takeaways. Defensive Ends Calais Campbell, Kentavius Street, Joe Gaziano, and Albert Huggins are all Free Agents. Of the four, NONE of them are “Must Re-Sign” candidates. Campbell was tied for first in sacks for the Falcons with a very low 6.5 (T56), and was second on the team with ten tackles for a loss (T47). However, he would be starting next season at 38 years old, and not worth more than a one-year deal for $4 million TOPS. The other three can all be let go, unless you want to hang onto Joe Gaziano just because his name is cool, and he sounds like a good fella.

At Linebacker we FINALLY find our first “Must Re-Sign” and it’s NOT Bud Dupree. Sure, Dupree was the other Falcon with 6.5 sacks, and was third on the team with eight tackles for a loss (T80), but he is not reliable. Bud has only played in 11 games in three of his last four seasons, and him playing in 63% of the defensive snaps last year was the most in his last four seasons. Dupree is starting next year at 31 years old, and is only backup material: two years for $5 million at best. Nate Landman is the “MUST RE-SIGN”! Landman only started in 13 games for the Falcons last year but was third on the team with 110 tackles (T42) and had seven tackles for a loss (T106). He’s only 25 years old, and I would lock him in for at least three years. Cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Jeff Okudah are two more Free Agents that I would not bring back. Flowers had 21 tackles and played in 18% of the snaps. Okudah is a GAMBLE that I wouldn’t be willing to take. Sure, he’s a big name, but why? He played in 13 games last season (55%) and made 44 tackles with zero INTs (only has two in four years). Someone is going to pay big money for him ($13-$15 million per year?), but it wouldn’t be me. There’s a reason Detroit parted ways with Okudah. Go out and get a “ball hawk” CB, and get out of the basement of the INT and Takeaway categories, Atlanta!

Special Teams and More

Long Snapper Liam McCullough is the only free agent Special Teams player, unless you count Cordarrelle Patterson. I don’t believe that any Long Snapper is a “must re-sign”, but I would still re-sign McCullough. Again, Patterson isn’t a “must” here either, only having returned seven kicks last year for 153 yards. Hell, I could do that! Give me $1 million!

The Atlanta Falcons have a chance to “right a lot of wrongs” for the 2024 season, but they’re already starting off terribly with hiring Morris as the Head Coach. I would have taken just about anybody else over Morris! Bill Belichick! Mike Vrabel! Josh McDanie…ok, NOT McDaniels, but seriously, just about ANYONE else. This team is still relatively young. There are only five players who would start next season at 32 years old or older, and four of them are Free Agents! Forget about the Falcons winning this division next year; it’s just not what Morris does. They are going to have a much harder schedule than 2023 as well, facing the Cowboys, Chiefs, Seahawks, Eagles, Steelers, Vikings, Raiders…buckle up, dirty birds. You’re coming into the first year of rebuilding, and it’s going to be painful. Thanks for the “read” everyone!


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