Atlanta Falcons
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Avery Williams
Avery Williams Participating in OTAs
Wed, May 22, 2024, 4:02 PM
Williams (knee) participated in Atlanta's OTAs on Tuesday, Tori McElhaney of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Williams missed all of the Falcons' 2023 campaign due to a knee injury, but it now seems as if he's moved past the issue. Since entering the NFL in 2021, Williams has primarily been a return man, accumulating 445 punt return yards and 803 kick return yards across two seasons. Now that Williams has returned to the field, he's expected to compete for Atlanta's top punt and kick returner spot once again throughout the offseason.
Daylen Baldwin
Daylen Baldwin Finds new opportunity
Tue, May 21, 2024, 4:14 PM
Baldwin signed a contract with the Falcons on Tuesday, Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston reports.
Analysis: Baldwin earned the deal after a successful workout with the team. The Michigan product was waived by the Vikings on May 7 after spending the entirety of the 2023 campaign on their practice squad.
Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson On track for minicamp
Tue, May 21, 2024, 10:47 AM
Robinson (ankle) is on schedule to be ready for the start of the veteran minicamp June 10, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: Robinson suffered an ankle injury during OTAs last Tuesday, but he's only dealing with a minor issue and will be back on the practice field June 10-12. In the meantime, Tyler Allgeier should take most of the starting reps in the backfield, while rookie Jase McClellan (foot) could benefit from expanded opportunities if he's able to get healthy before Robinson. With Kirk Cousins (Achilles) now at the helm of Atlanta's offense, Robinson will be a popular Year 2 breakout candidate in 2024 fantasy drafts.
Jase McClellan
Jase McClellan Still dealing with foot issue
Tue, May 14, 2024, 11:26 AM
Coach Raheem Morris said Tuesday that McClellan (foot) will sit out practice due to injury, Tori McElhaney of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Morris said the rookie sixth-round pick as well as Bijan Robinson (ankle), who is also tending to an injury, are both expected to be available for mandatory minicamp, as reported by D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It appears that McClellan is still not fully recovered from the foot injury that kept him from working out at either the NFL Combine or Alabama's Pro Day, but the Falcons expect him to be ready for practice sooner rather than later. He will need all the reps he can get to have any chance of carving out a notable role behind both Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.
Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson Tending to ankle injury
Tue, May 14, 2024, 11:20 AM
Coach Raheem Morris said Robinson will not participate in Tuesday's OTA practice due to an ankle injury, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: Morris said that Robinson is expected to be on the field for Atlanta's mandatory minicamp, as is rookie Jase McClellan (foot), who is also currently sidelined. The insinuation that Robinson's injury is only a minor issue is a relief, but the situation will still warrant monitoring until such time as the star running back is officially back on the field. Robinson could be primed for a Year 2 breakout with the arrival of Kirk Cousins (Achilles) promising an improved Falcons offense, but for the rest of OTAs, Tyler Allgeier could get a chance to handle the top backfield reps.
Ross Dwelley
Ross Dwelley Finds new home in Atlanta
Mon, May 13, 2024, 3:18 PM
The Falcons signed Dwelley (ankle) on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Dwelley finished last season on injured reserve after sustaining an ankle injury, but it now seems as if he's moved past the issue. After spending the first six seasons of his NFL career with the 49ers, the 29-year-old tight end has agreed to terms with the Falcons. Across his last three seasons, Dwelley has appeared in 41 games and made two starts, catching eight of his 12 targets for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Despite his underwhelming offensive production, the San Diego product has been a consistent contributor on special teams (619 snaps over the last three years), and he's expected to compete for a similar role in Atlanta.
Darnell Mooney
Darnell Mooney Locked in for key role
Thu, May 2, 2024, 7:20 PM
The Falcons figure to be heavily reliant on Mooney and Drake London at wide receiver, Josh Kendall of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: The Falcons have sent multiple signals that they expect Mooney to bounce back from a quiet 2023 in Chicago, first giving him $26 million guaranteed on a three-year, $39 million contract and now waiting until the sixth round of the 2024 NFL Draft before taking a wide receiver (Casey Washington). There's no serious competition for the No. 2 WR job, though it is possible Mooney ends up a distant fourth behind London, RB Bijan Robinson and TE Kyle Pitts in terms of prioritization in Atlanta' offense. Still, it's not a bad spot to be in, especially for a thin, fast receiver who projects better as a deep threat than as a high-volume guy.
Kyle Pitts
Kyle Pitts Has 2025 option exercised
Mon, Apr 29, 2024, 4:34 PM
The Falcons exercised Pitts' 2025 fifth-year option, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: It's a no-brainer move for the Falcons, even if Pitts, the No. 8 overall pick of the 2021 Draft, is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons after going over 1,000 yards as a rookie. The hope in Atlanta is that the acquisition of Kirk Cousins coupled with the new coaching staff can help maximize Pitts' abilities. Pitts' figures to be a popular 2024 rebound candidate in both real life and fantasy football.
Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins Joined by first-round rookie QB
Fri, Apr 26, 2024, 4:26 PM
Cousins (Achilles), who signed a four-year deal with Atlanta in March, is slated to be joined in the team's QB corps by Michael Penix, who was taken with the No. 8 overall pick in Thursday's NFL draft, Terrin Waack of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Despite the franchise's surprising decision to select Penix, Cousins, who is rebounding from an Achilles tear that he sustained Oct. 29, remains locked in as the Falcons' No. 1 QB for the foreseeable future. Regarding that topic, GM Terry Fontenot noted Thursday, "Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. We're very excited about Kirk, very excited about this team. (With) Michael Penix we're talking about the future. The draft is you look at the future and you look at big picture." In terms of his injury recovery, Cousins relayed last month that he's progressing well and is "optimistic that (he) can be full speed at practice before (the Falcons) break for the summer." In any case, barring any setbacks, Cousins -- who turns 36 in August -- is entrenched atop Atlanta's depth chart, with Penix providing the team with both an insurance policy for the veteran signal-caller, as well as a potential successor down the road.
Taylor Heinicke
Taylor Heinicke Accepts pay cut
Tue, Apr 2, 2024, 8:21 AM
Heinicke took a pay cut in March to stay with the Falcons, reducing his $5 million base salary to $1.21 million, ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein reports.
Analysis: He also converted a $1.32 million roster bonus to a signing bonus and agreed to remove the $40,000 per-game roster bonuses from his contract. He's left with $2.53 million in real-money compensation for the second and final year of his deal, with a $4.53 million cap hit. Heinicke is in excellent position for the backup QB role behind Kirk Cousins, after Desmond Ridder was traded to Arizona for Rondale Moore in mid-March. The Falcons still have time to bring in competition, but it may not be a priority given that Heinicke's track record suggests he's qualified for the second spot on the depth chart. They'll at least need to bring in a camp arm or two, seeing as Cousins and Heinicke are the only QBs on the roster at the beginning of April.
Ray-Ray McCloud
Ray-Ray McCloud Inks deal with Atlanta
Thu, Mar 14, 2024, 3:22 PM
The Falcons signed McCloud to a two-year deal worth up to $6 million Thursday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: McCloud has agreed to terms with Atlanta after spending the last two years of his career in San Francisco. The 27-year-old wideout was primarily utilized as a return specialist in 2023, returning 24 punts and 10 kicks for 428 yards. McCloud played just 28 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps last season, catching 12 of his 15 targets for 135 yards and no touchdowns. He's expected to have the opportunity to compete for a depth role at wideout this offseason, most likely behind both Drake London and Darnell Mooney.
KhaDarel Hodge
KhaDarel Hodge Inks new deal
Thu, Mar 14, 2024, 12:47 PM
Hodge re-signed with the Falcons on Thursday, Tori McElhaney of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Hodge will get a third year with Atlanta after spending the two previous seasons with the team. The 29-year-old played in all 17 games last season, recording 14 catches on 23 targets for 232 yards. With Drake London returning and the acquisitions of Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore so far this offseason, Hodge likely won't be high on the team's positional depth chart at wide receiver to start the 2024 campaign.
Rondale Moore
Rondale Moore Headed to Atlanta
Thu, Mar 14, 2024, 12:36 PM
The Cardinals are slated to trade Moore to the Falcons in exchange for Desmond Ridder, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Per Pelissero, this is a 1-for-1 player deal, with Ridder headed to Arizona to back up signal-caller Kyler Murray and Moore on his way to Atlanta to bolster the team's wideout corps. In 17 regular-season games for the Cardinals in 2023, Moore caught 40 of his 62 targets for 352 yards and one touchdown and logged 28 carries for 178 yards and another score. In his new locale, the 2021 second-rounder should have a chance serve as a key target for new QB Kirk Cousins alongside fellow WRs Drake London and Darnell Mooney. In that context, Moore has a chance to re-emerge on the fantasy radar in deeper formats this coming season.
Desmond Ridder
Desmond Ridder Could be on the move
Thu, Mar 14, 2024, 12:13 PM
The Falcons are expected to trade Ridder following the signing of Kirk Cousins to a four-year contract worth up to $180 million, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Atlanta reportedly doesn't have an immediate deal in place, but Ridder should draw some interest from teams in the league willing to part with later draft picks. The 2022 third-round pick boasts a unique amount of starting experience, as he's now heading into just his age-25 season, potentially making him an upgrade as a No. 2 option for some quarterback rooms in the NFL. If Ridder is indeed traded, it could throw a wrench in the assumption that Atlanta will release Taylor Heinicke in a cap-savings move.
Drake London
Drake London Outlook looking up
Thu, Mar 14, 2024, 10:58 AM
London is positioned to benefit from improved quarterback play going forward, with Kirk Cousins (Achilles) having officially inked a four-year deal worth up to $180 million with the Falcons on Wednesday, Tori McElhaney of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: London has sketched solid behind-the-scenes metrics in each of his first two pro seasons, but while having to endure a combination of Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke under center, the 2022 first-round pick has also failed to record a 1,000-yard receiving campaign yet. He finished his rookie season with a 72-866-4 line while playing all 17 games, and 2023 with a 69-905-2 line in one less contest. Even coming off an Achilles tear at 35 years old, Cousins promises reliable passing production, with London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson as his go-to playmakers, in addition to recent addition Darnell Mooney. Cousins threw for 4,000-plus passing yards in seven of his last eight seasons from 2015-22, and regularly hovered around the 30-touchdown range. Considering his improved situation, London figures to be a popular breakout candidate in 2024 fantasy drafts, one who it wouldn't be surprising to see come off the board top-10 at his position.
Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins Aiming to be 100 percent by June
Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 7:27 PM
Cousins (Achilles) said during his introductory news conference as a member of the Falcons on Wednesday that he's "optimistic to be full speed at practice" by the end of the offseason program in June, Tori McElhaney of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Considering Cousins suffered a torn right Achilles on Oct. 29 during a Week 8 win at Green Bay, he may be hard-pressed to be completely healthy once Atlanta completes mandatory minicamp. More realistically, he'll be able to handle most of the first-team reps during training camp and even get some run in the preseason as he transitions to the third team of his career. When he's healthy, Cousins will have all the skill talent at his disposal in the form of RBs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, WR Drake London and TE Kyle Pitts. All four players have exactly one campaign with at least 900 yards from scrimmage, which should help Cousins dabble with 4,000-plus passing yards like he did seven times in eight seasons from 2015 through 2022.
Kyle Pitts
Kyle Pitts Finally gets QB upgrade
Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 4:02 PM
Pitts looks set to benefit from improved quarterback play, with Kirk Cousins (Achilles) slated to sign a four-year, $180 million contract with Atlanta, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Pitts could be the Falcons' skill-position player most primed to benefit from a quarterback upgrade, having begun his NFL career with a 1,026-yard rookie campaign while paired with an aged Matt Ryan in 2021, and since turned in 356- and 667-yard efforts while catching passes from Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke, plus battling injuries. Fantasy managers may be too fatigued to make Pitts a true consensus breakout candidate for the 2024 campaign, in addition to Cousins likely being the best quarterback he's played with in his career, even coming off an Achilles tear, there's more at work in favor of the 2021 fourth overall pick, and once-consensus 'generational prospect.' Pitts will get to enter this offseason at full health after having to rehab from an MCL sprain last year, and the departure of fellow pass-catching tight end Jonnu Smith to Miami opens a path back up to an uncontested starting role.
Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson Offense promises improvement
Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 3:23 PM
Robinson looks set to benefit from an improved offense Year 2 with Kirk Cousins (Achilles) slated to sign a four-year, $180 million contract with Atlanta, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Robinson, the eighth overall pick of last year's draft, fell just short of 1,000 rushing yards (976) as a rookie but showcased a three-down skillset, boosting his fantasy totals with a 58-487-4 line through the air. Catching passes from Cousins, who will need to first recover from his Achilles injury, will alone provide a boost to Robinson's prospects, but if the Falcons can finally field a more legitimate passing game with Drake London, Kyle Pitts and new face Darnell Mooney, that two-dimensional offense will help keep defenses honest. Robinson and teammate Tyler Allgeier faced 8-plus defenders in the box 20.6 and 30.7 percent of the time last year, respectively, metrics that will stand to decline if Cousins manages to threaten opposing secondaries downfield more efficiently than Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke did. Robinson will be a popular breakout candidate for the 2024 campaign, with the tantalizing promise of an Atlanta offense finally headlined by competent quarterback play.
Taylor Heinicke
Taylor Heinicke Future in Atlanta murky
Tue, Mar 12, 2024, 3:32 PM
Heinicke is poised to drop to No. 3 on Atlanta's depth chart with the team slated to sign Kirk Cousins (Achilles), Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Cutting Heinicke would save the Falcons roughly $7 million against the cap, with just $2 million in dead money, a move that seems like a no-brainer in the wake of Cousins' signing. Even if Atlanta is concerned about its new franchise quarterback's Week 1 availability, the team still has Desmond Ridder under contract on his affordable rookie deal. Heinicke finished 2023 as the starter over Ridder, but both signal-callers were ultimately unimpressive. The Falcons will avoid paying Heinicke a $1.3 million roster bonus if he's cut or traded prior to March 17.
Darnell Mooney
Darnell Mooney Joining Kirk Cousins in Atlanta
Tue, Mar 12, 2024, 10:48 AM
Mooney and the Falcons have reached agreement on a three-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The deal reportedly is for $39 million, including $26 million in guarantees. It's a good landing spot for Mooney's fantasy value, with the Falcons also set to sign QB Kirk Cousins (Achilles) and lacking depth at WR behind No. 1 option Drake London. The former Bear came into the NFL as a fifth-round pick and had 1,686 receiving yards over his first two seasons, but a severe ankle injury cut his third year short, and he then dropped off to only 414 yards in 15 regular-season games in 2023. If nothing else, Mooney's 4.38 speed should help keep defensive backs honest and leave more space underneath for London, TE Kyle Pitts and RB Bijan Robinson.

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