Having looked through the offensive backfield, it’s time to look at the wide receiver position. This one becomes more convoluted for a myriad of reasons.
2019 cap charge-$13,466,666
2020 cap charge-$12,892,668
Traded/released post June 1st
2019 cap charge-$3,866,666
2020 cap charge-$1,466,668
2019 cap charge-$7,400,000
2020 cap charge-$7,900,000
Traded/released post June 1st
2019 cap charge-$1,400,000
2020 cap charge-$1,400,000
2019 cap charge-$2,477,439
Not listing anything else here for Calvin because it’s irrelevant. He’s not going anywhere coming off the rookie season he had and only entering the 2nd year of his contract.
2019-exclusive rights free agent
2019 cap charge-$609,048
Once again, not going into detail because Russell is safe.
Devin Gray (futures contract)
2019 cap charge-$615,000
2020 cap charge-$615,000
Traded released post June 1st
2019 cap charge-$0
2020 cap charge-$0
Christian Blake (futures contract)
Same details as Devin Gray
The Falcons could quite possibly have the best trio of WR’s in the NFL as things stand right now. However, things could drastically change over the next few months.
1-we all remember the drama that started off our 2018 campaign that revolved around Julio wanting a bigger contract. Apparently, that’s going to happen. The length and width of contract is anyone’s guess, but you can bet it will land somewhere in the neighborhood of 5yrs/$20 mil/yr.
2-that money’s gonna hafta come from somewhere and you can see by the above contracts that Sanu is a good possibility to be released/traded or at the very least, restructured.
Ridley was a very good #3 WR that just needs to get over the case of the drops he encountered at times during 2018.
Past the top 3, Hall had his moments and I was happy to see Gage get some offensive playing time to show he could be counted on more than just a special teamer.
Justin Hardy has been average, at best. A good blocker. A good route runner. Decent hands. Decent special teamer. No speed. He’s your average “take him or leave him” NFL WR.
Devin Gray showed promise during the 2018 pre-season.
I have absolutely no scouting report on Christian Blake other than I could google to tell you his height, weight, speed, where he went to college, etc. I will not bore you with those details on someone who was on our practice squad all season. Meaning another team could have grabbed him anytime they wanted to, and no one did. I will continue this practice through the rest of these posts where I see fit.
WHAT WILL THE FALCONS DO?
This one is easy and it’s not so easy. Julio will get his raise. How much and how long and what effect it has on the cap remains to be seen. Mohamed Sanu will more than likely be asked to restructure his deal. At 30 years old when next season starts, he might not have many other options depending how low the Falcons ask him to go. If Sanu leaves, Ridley will be the WR2. If not, we still have a dynamic trio out wide. Justin Hardy won’t be re-signed. Gage is staying. Hall as an exclusive rights free agent will be given a contract 10% more than his 2018 deal. Gray and Blake are longshots. Don’t be surprised if the Falcons don’t go for another WR at some point in this draft, especially if Sanu decides he doesn’t want a pay cut. Also, if Sanu goes, look for the Falcons to make a minor move in free agency. Nothing extravagant, but maybe a mid-row pickup who could fill in as a WR3. And as always, there will be some undrafted rookie free agents brought into camp.
WHAT WOULD DEWEY DO?
First, Julio would not be getting a new contract until he had only 1 year remaining on his current deal. But since it’s going to happen anyway, I might as well include it like it’s already happened. Figuring on a 3-year extension, will make it a total of 5 more years under contract. Will be worth $20mil/year, but I’m guessing this first year won’t incur a cap hit of more than $15mil. So, his cap charge for 2019 won’t change drastically.
Second, I ask Sanu to restructure his deal. I’m not gonna chop his feet off, but we need room and he would have difficulty getting much more than I’d offer on the open market. I’ll ask him to drop to $5 million/year. Will hurt his ego, but I don’t think he would turn it down.
I’ll be looking for a WR4 in the draft, but not before the 5th round. You can find excellent receivers late in the draft. They might not have all the measurables, but they can either run, catch, block, get open or maybe return kicks. Right now, that’s all we need from a WR4. Gage will be given every opportunity to win the WR4 spot.
Hardy will not be asked to return. There a literally dozens of WR’s available late in the draft and through undrafted free agency that have the same skill sets as he does
Hall is an exclusive rights free agent. What that means is, if we want, we just sign Hall back at a 10% increase over his 2018 salary. For Hall that would be $610,500. Might as well. Nothings guaranteed on it.
I will not be signing any high priced or even mid-level free agent WR’s. With our top 3, everything else is gravy and we have more important positions to spend money on.
And, per usual, there will be 2-3 undrafted free agents invited to camp.
Dewey’s sap cap counter:
WR’s (7) Julio Jones-$15,000,000
Running Cap total-$54,509,766
Dewey’s needs: vet free agency/draft
1-vet backup QB, hopefully at league minimum or close to it
1-bigger RB, through the draft, 5th round or later
1-blocking FB, through the draft, undrafted or vet free agent
2-WR’s, one through the draft, 5th round or later. One undrafted free agent, preferable with KR skills.
For some quick clarity, as I noticed from the comments after the last installment. The number of players I have listed at each position are not who I think will make the team or what the final 53-man roster will be. I’m listing the players under contract and what their contracts are or would be under my scenario in an attempt to see how much cap room we would have to work with when all is said and done. I know spotrac and over the cap have rough cap numbers, but this will give us a little better idea of the actual cap figure once the Falcons make all of their roster moves heading into free agency and the draft. Since we don’t know exactly what they will do, I’m using what I would do. It will all be much clearer on the final wrap-up, weeks from now when I’m finally finished with all of these parts.
What’s next? Tight ends