In the two years after Arthur Smith was promoted as head coach, the Atlanta Falcons have been more competitive than predicted. Of course, consider that the club has yet to finish with a winning record. However, that might change in 2023, when Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot finally have the means to break the Falcons’ postseason drought. Take note that they haven’t been to the NFL playoffs in five years. Here we’ll look at the two best players whom the Falcons must trade for in the coming 2023 NFL Offseason.
The Falcons displayed some promising signs for the future in 2022. That’s thanks to young players such as Tyler Allgeier and Drake London showing potential. Although they were not victorious in all their games, they remained competitive and could have potentially won the NFC South with a few more wins. Looking ahead to the offseason, the Falcons will be an intriguing team to watch. Keep in mind that they have the second-highest cap space in the league (almost $56 million). They also have a top-10 draft pick that puts them in a favorable position to make a significant impact. The Falcons can possibly package these assets into a big-time trade or two. And speaking of trades…
Let’s look at the two players for whom the Falcons must trade this offseason.
2. Brandin Cooks
Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks has expressed his desire to leave the team. After three seasons with the dysfunctional franchise, Cooks is eager to move on. Remember that the Texans have struggled since their playoff collapse to Patrick Mahomes in 2020. They have just failed to recover from the loss. Cooks will now seek a new team, and the Falcons could be a potential suitor. While Cooks is not as skilled as, say, DeAndre Hopkins, his addition would provide a significant boost to the Falcons’ receiver position. He would be a very solid second option behind London.
Kyle Allen on a dime to Brandin Cooks 🎯
📺: #HOUvsMIA on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/z2IvxW4deW pic.twitter.com/yEI4No6yIb
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2022
Do take note of Cooks’ tendency to move around frequently, with trades following him wherever he goes. Still, Atlanta may take a chance on him with a two-year contract if they cannot secure a more talented player during the offseason. Cooks is well within their price range. The move could also pay off if he can settle in with the team.
1. Jalen Ramsey
The Falcons have been mentioned as a possible destination for quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson. However, they may be more interested in developing their 2022 third-round pick, Desmond Ridder. Ridder displayed promise in his rookie season, and the Falcons would do well to give him a whole season to start.
Moving on from, though, the Falcons’ defensive secondary certainly needs immediate improvement. Recall that they ranked 25th in passing yards allowed and 29th in yards per attempt surrendered in the previous season.
To address their secondary concerns, the Falcons could pursue a trade for Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. We believe he may be available due to cap reasons. While his $25.2 million cap hit for 2023 is significant, remember that the Falcons have the second-most cap space in the league with $55.7 million. The 28-year-old Ramsey had another strong season in 2022 with an opposing passer rating of 84.5. Undoubtedly, he would be a massive addition to the Falcons. Consider, however, that dealing for him potentially cost them a high Day 2 draft pick or more. Nonetheless, it would be a reasonable price to pay to acquire a perennial Pro Bowl cornerback.