Falcons are bad, 2020 salary cap situation makes things worse

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Teams sometimes try to sign a core nucleus of top players to expensive contracts in an effort to make a Super Bowl run, and then worry about the salary cap consequences later. The long-term effectiveness of that strategy is debatable, but it at least ought to produce a good team in the short term.

What the Atlanta Falcons are doing is something different: They’re one of the worst teams in the league, and they simultaneously have the worst salary cap situation in the league heading into 2020.

As noted by Zack Moore of OverTheCap.com, the Falcons project to be $8.7 million over the cap next year based only on the players they currently have under contract, before they draft any rookies or sign any free agents.

That’s largely a result of spending big money on a few key players, most notably Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, who all by themselves are expected to count for 27 percent of the Falcons’ salary cap next year. The five most expensive players on the Falcons (Ryan, Jones, Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett and Desmond Trufant) are slated to cost more than half the salary cap. Five players. More than half of the entire salary cap.

Keep going down the roster to the Top 10 players, the Top 22 players, or however you want to slice it, and the end result is the same: The Falcons have an extraordinary amount invested in the top of their roster, which leaves precious little cap space for the rest of the roster. Next year they’re going to have to fill a lot of holes with league-minimum-salary players.

And maybe that would be OK, if the highly paid stars at the top of the roster were capable of carrying a team all by themselves. But they’re not. The Falcons are 1-6 with those highly paid stars. There’s absolutely no reason to believe they’ll be any better next year.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said after Sunday’s loss that he still supports head coach Dan Quinn. Perhaps he realizes that the Falcons’ roster has been constructed so poorly that no coach can turn them around any time soon.

37 responses to “Falcons are bad, 2020 salary cap situation makes things worse

  1. >>Perhaps he realizes that the Falcons’ roster has been constructed so poorly that no coach can turn them around any time soon.

    Thats on the GM not the HC.

    Why is it that when a team does well its the HC who gets credit, and when a team is bad, its the HCs fault.
    The GM builds the roster

  2. When has over paying back end career players worked out ? They know this they just paid said players cause without them they have zero brand wise.

  3. Why pay so much to a 30yr old WR if Ryan will never throw him a good ball in the redzone? He’d rather run the offense through Hooper and Sanu. Now he costs too much to trade.

  4. How about that Mohamed Sanu signing?!?

    Sanu is a high character person, great locker room,
    good blocker, smart player, and hard worker… but…
    … DOES NOT get separation consistently.

    I TOLD YA.

    Now… you know… but… any team is better with Sanu…
    … just not as a #2 or GOOD #3 wide receiver…
    … ESPECIALLY… at his price.

    ANYWAY… Sanu is too good of a person NOT TO LAND ON HIS FEET.

  5. This is Cleveland in a couple of years unless Mayfield is a complete bust. Too few players making too much money, particularly since the owners want a bigger piece of the pie with the next CBA

  6. Let’s think outside of the box for a second. Can this team contend in the 2-3 years? If the answer is “NO” than maybe they should look at moving Julio and Matt Ryan and start over.

    This strategy is taboo and I don’t understand why. The goal is to win a Super Bowl. If your current collection of players can’t get it done why can’t you trade players for future assets and cap flexibility?

  7. Fire sale time…Look for BB to come calling to get preferably Mack since it looks like Andrews won’t be back this year or maybe Matthews or Sanu; expect Seattle and the Eagles to pick over the roster.

    Falcons should purge the roster, gather picks and try to make another run before Ryan falls of the cliff, way over paid Julio should have traded him for some draft picks.

  8. Although Brady does take a somewhat below market deal-Belichek is the master of having no heart-none of this paying for past performance-and not afraid to let players walk

  9. Good time to trade Austin Hooper for a Draft pick I think the Patriots are willing to give up a first rounder and possibly more

  10. Remember when Arthur Blank was prematurely dancing when his team was beating the Patriots in the SB? That epic loss ruined the Falcons….they have still not recovered…

  11. ivotedfornixon says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:07 am
    Although Brady does take a somewhat below market deal-Belichek is the master of having no heart-none of this paying for past performance-and not afraid to let players walk

    11 1 Rate This

    —————————-

    Atlanta is also a weak market, so they try to play to the stars for the fans. I remember when Dimitrioff started, BB told him to trade out of the Julio Jones spot and collect picks.

    As per usual, BB is right. As great as Julio Jones is, you’re building a team not just showcasing a few star players to sell tickets.

    Some teams will never get it.

  12. They went to the SuperBowl vs NE off an MVP season from Matt Ryan figures they’d keep winning keep contending so went all in and spent above and beyond and instead now r struggling and have no young players or any plan for future went win now and haven’t won since making Super Bowl

  13. bobmillion says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:02 am
    Fire sale time…Look for BB to come calling to get preferably Mack since it looks like Andrews won’t be back this year or maybe Matthews or Sanu; expect Seattle and the Eagles to pick over the roster.

    Falcons should purge the roster, gather picks and try to make another run before Ryan falls of the cliff, way over paid Julio should have traded him for some draft picks.

    13 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Mack? The Pats have one of the best interior lines in football.

    lol

    Center is not a need. Karras has played well. Do you watch the games?

  14. Look out the Rams are using the exact same mindsight building their roster. Let’s see if they better different results. You have to have depth in the NFL to survive the injuries that always come up. Looks like Dimitrof (Falcons GM) didnt learn much from his time working with the Patriots.

  15. Just think, running the ball up 25 and just killing the clock, even if it didn’t end up in any first downs, would have made this article moot as they had a Super Bowl. As with my Badgers, the Falcons real crime was going out of their way to give up what should have been an easy win by trying to be fancy.

  16. SWFLPC.INC says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:25 am
    Remember when Arthur Blank was prematurely dancing when his team was beating the Patriots in the SB? That epic loss ruined the Falcons….they have still not recovered…

    5 1 Rate This

    ——————-

    Yes. It’s reflective of some teams’ arrogance reading their own team and reading their own press clippings, thinking they are better than they are.

    Same deal with playing the whole 60 mins and not taking things for granted. Do you see the Pats taking things for granted? No.

  17. uncommon1 says:

    October 21, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Let’s think outside of the box for a second. Can this team contend in the 2-3 years? If the answer is “NO” than maybe they should look at moving Julio and Matt Ryan and start over.

    This strategy is taboo and I don’t understand why. The goal is to win a Super Bowl. If your current collection of players can’t get it done why can’t you trade players for future assets and cap flexibility?
    ————–
    Because the GM trading those players wont be around fo see the rebuild so why would they want to essentially get themselves fired, likely quicker, just to set it up better for the next guy.

  18. amurdora says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:40 am
    Just think, running the ball up 25 and just killing the clock, even if it didn’t end up in any first downs, would have made this article moot as they had a Super Bowl. As with my Badgers, the Falcons real crime was going out of their way to give up what should have been an easy win by trying to be fancy.

    0 0 Rate This

    ——————-

    I could say the same thing about BenJarvis Green-Ellis’s lack of carries in a 17-9 halftime lead vs the Giants in SB 46. If he had gotten just even 5 more carries, NE likely wins that SB.

    Mindnumbing decisions by Brady in that one.

  19. @Intrafinesse: When Dan Quinn was hired he was given final say on personnel not the GM. This team has been constructed the way he wanted it to be. He’s had some colossal misses in the draft, Beasley and McKinley which looms large when the team struggles with pass rush. The first round rookie right tackle is getting beat badly in every game and the first round left guard was put on IR in the opening game

  20. I looked it up. Not only is atlanta 8 million over the 2020 cap-they only have 40 players signed.

    since each player on 53 man roster gets close to a million-i think-they are at least 20 million over the cap for a 53 man roster

  21. Continuing my post at 12:08 pm, the jury is still out on whether or not the first round of the 2019 draft was a disaster like 2015(Beasley) and 2017(McKinley). Quinn has hit in the first round with Keanu Neal(2016) and Calvin Ridley(2018),but has done much better in the later rounds Austin Hooper, Deion Jones, Ricardo Allen, Devondre Campbell, Demontae Kazee.

  22. tylawspick6 says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:33 am
    bobmillion says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:02 am
    Fire sale time…Look for BB to come calling to get preferably Mack since it looks like Andrews won’t be back this year or maybe Matthews or Sanu; expect Seattle and the Eagles to pick over the roster.

    Falcons should purge the roster, gather picks and try to make another run before Ryan falls of the cliff, way over paid Julio should have traded him for some draft picks.

    13 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Mack? The Pats have one of the best interior lines in football.

    lol

    Center is not a need. Karras has played well. Do you watch the games?

    ————————-

    Yes, apparently you don’t…Brady is getting hit a lot their O-line is weakest part of the team (besides not having an out-right pass rusher) missing a lot of blocks on defensive line stunts and blitzes which is on the center to call, Mack makes a average line much better; Wynn so far can’t stay on the field more then a few plays. Besides a pass rushers they could always use more receivers and /or tight ends.

  23. In the age of teams giving up lots of picks for top-notch players, they really need to consider moving Julio. He’s probably one of the most valuable chips in a trade in the NFL.

  24. They should’ve never let the Patriots back into that game, it looks like their window is closed and they are stuck in cap hell. Better start trading off guys and taking the cap hit now if you can.

  25. Great example of a team not realizing that their window had already closed. It closed when they lost that playoff game to the Eagles, and yet they kept spending. They’re going to have to dump all of those players except Jones, and if Ryan stays or not depends on their next coach when Quinn gets fired.

  26. What’s the over under on julio holding out yet again next year and posting because he’s underpaid……

  27. The Patriots broke them. Although they went 10-6 after the SB some of those wins were lucky. Might they tank next year? Not sure Arthur Blank would go for it, but his dancing days are definitely over.

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