Ridley suspension for ’22 makes WR area of need for Falcons

ATLANTA FALCONS (7-10)

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Cordarrelle Patterson, LB Foyesade Oluokun, TE Lee Smith, TE Hayden Hurst, S Erik Harris, PK Younghoe Koo, WR Russell Gage, QB A.J. McCarron, SS Duron Harmon, CB Isaiah Oliver, OL Josh Andrews, DE Steven Means, CB Fabian Moreau, LS Josh Harris, P Thomas Morstead, OLB Brandon Copeland, DE Jonathan Bullard, WR Tajae Sharpe, OT Jason Spriggs, LB Daren Bates, LB Dorian Etheridge.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Olamide Zaccheaus, WR Christian Blake, TE Jaeden Graham, DL Anthony Rush, OL Colby Gossett, QB Josh Rosen.

NEEDS: Atlanta moved under the cap with the NFL suspension of WR Calvin Ridley for the 2022 season as punishment for betting on games last season. Even if the Falcons re-sign Gage, who filled in as the No. 1 target for Matt Ryan while Ridley missed most of last season while addressing mental health issues, wide receiver joins edge rusher, cornerback and offensive tackle as most pressing on a lengthy list of offseason needs. The Falcons cleared most cap space by restructuring the contracts of QB Matt Ryan and LT Jake Matthews. They re-signed PK Younghoe Koo to a five-year, $24.25 million deal. The team must be bargain shoppers and could find it difficult to re-sign such other key players as Patterson even after releasing outside linebacker Dante Fowler and offensive tackle Matt Gono. Fowler was the pass rush leader on a defense which ranked last in the league with 18 sacks.

AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $13.6 million.

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