7 Things the Falcons Need to Do This Off-season

Staff Writer: Braydon Stansel

1. Keep Matt Ryan.

Matty Ice has been with Atlanta since 2008. He has, by far, been the best QB in the history of the franchise. Winning an MVP (2016) and being named to multiple pro bowls, he carried the falcons to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016. He still has a couple more years on his contract, as the 36-year-old still looks fit to be the starting QB for the following season. Ryan had an average year in 2021 with one of the worst receiving corps in the league, a young banged up O-line, and a limited running game. Davion Finklea had this to say regarding Ryan, “Matt Ryan is still a great QB and deserves a better team in order to win. The Falcons failures aren’t because of Matt Ryan.”

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 06: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons during the week 13 NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on December 06, 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

2. Get Calvin Ridley to stay with the team and keep improving.

Calvin Ridley stepped away from football in Week 5 of the 2021 season due to his mental health. With 13 weeks off and an entire offseason, the Falcons are hopeful Calvin can come back 100% happy and motivated to help the team. He had a great 2020 campaign that saw him become a Julio Jones prototype/replacement in his 3rd season. It would be beneficial if he could return to that player from 2020.

3. Draft/sign an offensive lineman.

The Falcons have struggled for many years on their offensive line. With the loss of Alex Mack (to the 49ers) last season, the Falcons diminished in their offensive line strengths. It is crucial to fix this area in order to help matt Ryan have a clean pocket, as well as create large gaps for running backs for 2022.

4. Sign/draft a young defensive lineman.

The Falcons need a D-lineman to help Grady Jarret with both stopping the run and pressuring opposing QBs. The Falcons have not had a good defensive line in nearly five years. Jarret’s prime years are being wasted by being double teamed every game because he is the only threat on the Falcons’ D-line. Adding some help could take pressure off Grady which could see him produce top-notch seasons.

5. Sign a veteran cornerback to improve and progress AJ Terrell and other young corners.

AJ Terrell was one of the best corners in the league last season. He is only 23 years old, which causes excitement for Atlanta to have a top tier corner for many more seasons. A veteran corner could help improve the defense by leading the young guys during games and showing them what to do and not to do through learned experience.

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell #24 enters the field before the game against the Washington Football Team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, October 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

6. Sign/draft a top-tier safety.

The Falcons need a strong safety to lead their secondary. They struggled with tackling in the open field and blown coverages. A smart strong safety can help with both these problems. The secondary needed some work last season in particular safety positions. The Falcons defense lost both starting safeties last offseason and failed to adequately replace them.

7. Re-sign Cordarrelle Patterson and sign a power running back.

Patterson had a great season last year both receiving and running the ball. He can continue to help Ryan in the backfield and be a number 2 wideout. He deserves to be brought back as he was the bright point in the offense next to rookie TE Kyle Pitts. Patterson doesn’t receive more than 15 carries per game due to his role as a wideout. So, the addition of a power back would help in situations in the red zone and when in need of a couple of yards for a first down. This is what lifelong Falcons fan Alex Rogers had to say about Cordarrelle Patterson, “I think Cordarrelle Patterson was our best player this season and although i think he definitely makes our team better, I doubt we have the money to re-sign him if he’s asking for as much money as he’s worth.”

Cordarrelle Patterson enjoying a breakout year before a game. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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