Consecutive playoff trips now followed by three straight losing seasons.
It’s been a disconcerting three seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, who last made the playoffs in 2017 and actually won a postseason game that year. Since then, there were back-to-back 7-9 campaigns and then the bottom fell out in 2020. Dan Quinn was dismissed after a 0-5 start. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach and the team finished 4-12, the club’s worst record since an identical mark in 2013.
Not only is there a new head coach in former Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, there’s a change in the front office with the hiring of general manager Terry Fontenot (see Kevin Patra of NFL.com). He’s already started to trim the roster with the recent releases of free safety Ricardo Allen and defensive end Allen Bailey. So who else could the team let go of as free agency approaches and the club looks to make more room when it comes to the salary cap (see Spotrac)?
3. QB Matt Schaub
He began his NFL career in 2004 as a third-round draft pick by the Falcons. He eventually was dealt to the Houston Texans after three years in Atlanta and was actually a two-time Pro Bowler with that club. Matt Schaub, who led the Texans to AFC South titles in 2011 and ’14, would eventually join the Raiders and Ravens but returned to the Falcons in 2016. He made a start for Atlanta in 2019 but has actually not logged a lot of playing time lately.
He and Matt Ryan are currently the only signal-callers on the roster. But don’t be surprised if GM Terry Fontenot moves on from the 39-year-old pro and adds a young quarterback(s) from the college ranks.