With the preseason ending, there is a mad dash to find the best possible 53 men to battle with week in and week out. With that comes some surprise cuts and speculation as to what is going to happen next. There is even more surprise when it comes to the Atlanta Falcons. There are just so many more questions than answers when it comes to this roster. Here is a look at the finishing touches that the Atlanta Falcons are putting on their 2021 roster.
Finishing Touches for Atlanta Falcons Roster
The Falcons Should Not Sign Cam Newton
The New England Patriots recently released Cam Newton denoting their starting quarterback as first-round draft pick, Mac Jones. Let this be a clear message for Falcons fans: The Atlanta Falcons do not need Cam Newton as a backup. His production over the last few years has plummeted from his MVP season in 2015. Last year he threw for less than 3,000 yards, eight touchdowns (three in his final game), and eight interceptions. He would have to understand that he would be in Atlanta for just a backup role. Furthermore, he would be unlikely to receive any snaps upon arrival due to Matt Ryan’s durability. What value does Cam Newton bring to the Atlanta Falcons besides a host of cameras and Instagram posts that the Falcons frankly do not need? Maybe Cam finds a home on a Washington Football Team or a Houston Texans. The Falcons, however, have bigger fish to fry than to bring the Georgia native to Flowery Branch.
As the race to 53 is reaching its end, the Falcons have made a nice batch of roster cuts. The releases of Dwayne Johnson, Jr., and Kobe Jones (he could not hold on to the football), were expected. But there were a couple of cuts that are not only surprising but quite puzzling in nature.
For instance, the Falcons have released wide receiver, Chris Rowland. In the first round of cuts, no less. Chris Rowland was a bubble prospect, yes. Moreover, it was clear from the first time Avery Williams had a return opportunity that the punt returner job was his. But it seemed that he made enough plays with the ball in his hands to squeak into that final slot receiver spot. Nevertheless, that is not the most surprising cut this off-season.
UDFA Caleb Huntley also hit the chopping block. Now, this move is a perplexing one. After the Falcons released the change of pace back Javian Hawkins, Huntley was a lock into the RB5 role. Instead, this leaves Cordarrelle Patterson, Qadree Ollison, Keith Smith, and Mike Davis as the running backs going into the season. With Keith Smith being a fullback, it would have seemed that Smith would keep four running backs to cycle out.
Maybe, this was a move to bring in an extra wide receiver such as Frank Darby or an outside playmaker. Either way, this move is one of the first perplexing ones in the Arthur Smith era.
Finishing Touches For Atlanta Falcons Roster
As the Atlanta Falcons put the finishing touches on their 53-man roster, there are many opportunities for improvement before the September 12th opener. For starters, the Falcons must be on the hunt for any new offensive line talent that happens to drop from other teams. If not, Josh Rosen will get more playing time than first predicted. Ryan has been very durable, missing three games in 13 seasons, but he is aging. There is no guarantee that he can hold up to another 40 plus sack season. If there is one player that the Falcons should go ahead and sign, it is Jimmy Moreland, the recently released cornerback from the Washington Football Team. He will not be there for long, even after a less than average season last year. Finding cornerbacks that can play both inside and outside and help defend the running game is a challenge. Moreland can give that kind of depth if he couldn’t find his way into the starting role over Isaiah Oliver.