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Atlanta Falcons 2022 free agency outlook

The Falcons head into 2022 free agency coming off a 7-10 season. We break down their free agents, cap space, and more.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons were clearly in rebuilding mode during the 2021 NFL season, the first under coach Arthur Smith.

Atlanta limped to a 7-10 record but showed some promising signs here and there from some younger players. But because all the promise is in the youth on the team, like TE Kyle Pitts, they don’t have a ton of worries in the free agency department when it comes to big-time players looking for a new home.

They don’t have a ton of salary cap to work with in re-signing players either, simply because most of their roster is already locked up for the foreseeable future. They could make a splash signing here or there, but they don’t exactly have the capital to do so unless they make a shocking move with Matt Ryan.

Last season’s salary cap number dropped to $182.5 million as the league dealt with the pandemic, but the 2022 cap is expected to rebound back up to $208 million, according to Over The Cap. That increase should loosen a few team pocketbooks this offseason.

Franchise/Transition Tag possibilities

They have a few URFA that are viable franchise tag options. The most realistic would probably be WR/TE/RB Cordarrelle Patterson. The man did it all for Atlanta last season, racking up six touchdowns on the ground and another five through the air. Losing him would be a big blow to the offense.

They could also tag linebacker Foyesade Oluokun. The Falcons will likely try to get him back on a new deal, but if they’re unable to do that before the new league year begins on March 13, then tagging him could be the move for Atlanta. After moving from WILL LB to MIKE this season, he saw a huge improvement in his game. The Yale grad led the NFL in tackles with 192 total and 88 by himself. He also added two sacks and four TFLs.

They could also throw the tag on extremely reliable kicker Younghoe Koo or DB Fabian Moreau.

Salary cap

Estimated 2022 cap space: ($6.6 million)

Notable unrestricted free agents

Atlanta Falcons 2022 UFAs

Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Foyesade Oluokun LB Falcons 98.20% 27
Duron Harmon S Falcons 91.60% 31
Fabian Moreau CB Falcons 88.60% 28
Erik Harris S Falcons 60.10% 32
Steven Means EDGE Falcons 59.10% 32
Russell Gage WR Falcons 58.20% 26
Tajae Sharpe WR Falcons 48.50% 28
Cordarrelle Patterson WR Falcons 45.00% 31
Dante Fowler Jr. EDGE Falcons 43.50% 28
Hayden Hurst TE Falcons 39.00% 29
Josh Harris LS Falcons 30.00% 33
Lee Smith TE Falcons 29.60% 35
Brandon Copeland EDGE Falcons 29.00% 31
Mike Pennel IDL Falcons 21.40% 31
Thomas Morstead P Falcons 21.20% 36
Jonathan Bullard IDL Falcons 19.10% 29
Shawn Williams S Falcons 13.90% 31
Isaiah Oliver CB Falcons 13.80% 26
Jason Spriggs LT Falcons 8.60% 28
Josh Rosen QB Falcons 2.50% 25
Emmanuel Ellerbee LB Falcons 0.80% 26
Daren Bates LB Falcons 0.70% 32
Josh Andrews C Falcons 0.00% 31
A.J. McCarron QB Falcons 0.00% 32