Offseason Update: How are the Atlanta Falcons doing?

The Mercedes Benz stadium, located less than a mile from Georgia State, is home of the Atlanta Falcons. Photo by Sylvester Silver III | The Signal

With the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Superbowl LIV, the 2020 NFL offseason is officially underway.

In a period when both the agonizing pain of a football-less society and the excitement of potential new additions flusters fans across the country, the NFL offseason marks the start of a seven-month sabbatical from Sunday afternoon football.

Whether eliminated in the later rounds of the playoffs or failing to obtain a record above .500, most NFL teams will dabble in the complexity of the free agency market in 2020. 

The Falcons are no stranger to this offseason free agency saga, and they are already making significant moves.

Per the team’s official Twitter account, Vic Beasly will not return to Atlanta in 2020. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter thought the move was necessary regarding both roster talent and cap space.

“When you make mistakes, the sooner you can move from them, the better,” Ledbetter said when addressing the Falcons selecting Beasley No. 9 overall in the 2015 draft. “Even though Vic does have a $7.3 million market value, they decided to spend that money elsewhere.”

Since his selection, the Clemson Tigers product has had highs and lows, recording 15.5 sacks in his rookie season, only to fail to reach double digits in the category in the three seasons since.

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff thanked Beasly for his contribution to the team in a statement made after the team’s official announcement.

“As we continue to craft our 2020 roster, we’d like to thank Vic for five years of effort on behalf of our organization,” Dimitroff said.

On the offensive side, Atlanta is currently still in negotiations with Austin Hooper, the teams starting tight end that has made consecutive Pro Bowl appearances.

The team has commented on the status of Hooper sparsely, with Dimitroff saying that negotiations are “trudging along.” Hooper expressed interest in returning to the Falcons but said the team would need to provide the proper deal.

“I don’t,” Ledbetter said when asked if he envisions Hooper returning to Atlanta in 2020. “His market value is such that his agent would be committing malpractice if he signed him for less than $10 million a year. If the Falcons can’t get him to sign a team-friendly deal, the franchise tag is going to be too high.”

If Atlanta lets Hooper explore free agency, the team will need to shop for an offensive weapon.

Wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley continue to lead the team in offensive weaponry. However, after trading Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots and the potential free agency loss of Justin Hardy, Atlanta lacks depth at the position.

Linebacker De’vondre Cambell and defensive end Adrian Clayborn are also on the fringe of free agency, and talks with the team have not resulted in any substantial progress.

After finishing 7-9 in 2019, Atlanta has needs on both sides of the ball. First, they will need to manage their current players efficiently and then seek out talent in both free agency and the draft in an attempt to build a more rounded roster in 2020.