As Scott Bair with the Falcons said earlier today, the The Falcons are a team in transition. Regardless of how optimistic you are about this team in 2022, the guys tasked with getting Atlanta back to greatness know full well that they’re not there yet, and the roster is far from immutable. Atlanta’s brass, from Terry Fontenot to Arthur Smith, have spoken repeatedly about the roster change because they want us to know it will. That means the 53-man roster that was just finalized is far from final, and the changes could be significant and come quickly.
what is later for the Falcons?
Injured reserve, maybe
There are indications that John FitzPatrick and Marlon Davidson are headed to injured reserve, which would free up some roster spots that could go to new additions or familiar faces like Anthony Firkser. Both were injured — FitzPatrick didn’t practice last week, we knew Davidson would miss “at least” preseason — and both were eyebrow-raising additions to the roster in a vacuum.
For Davidson, that’s because of injury, as a man who can’t seem to catch a break on that end has missed time again. For FitzPatrick, it’s because Anthony Firkser and MyCole Pruitt have had more playing time and played well.
Also add rookie TE John FitzPatrick to the surprise “hold out” list, though I wonder if he’ll be put on Wednesday due to his injury.
– Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) 30 August 2022
That’s speculation until we see it in action, but it’s worth a quick note. Regardless of whether Davidson and FitzPatrick stay, it seems likely that Atlanta will be active in scouring the waiver wire and then free agency for additions, and then they will build the practice squad.
Waiver claim period ends tomorrow at 12 pm ET. Then teams can start adding up to 16 players to their practice squads.
You can bet there will be more moves.
– Aaron Freeman (@falcfans) 30 August 2022
Matt Chambers will have an article in the morning about the team’s placement in the waiver order, but suffice it to say it’s pretty early, so they’ll have a good chance to grab all the players they really want. As Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith said back in late July, Atlanta’s scouting apparatus and front office have been looking at possible roster cuts from other teams for some time now in case good players shake loose. If someone the team loves haveThey can put in an ad and actually have enough cap space to absorb a decent sized contract.
“You’re taking about all the — what we call — bubble guys that might have a chance to get cut,” Smith said. “We value them.”
It would shock me if the Falcons didn’t at least try to claim someone, is it former free agent target Kemoko Turay or a project offensive lineman with upside like former Raiders first-rounder Alex Leatherwood. They’re in a good position to do that and they’ve put in the time exploring potential options, and it seems unlikely in the extreme that no one they like was waived earlier today.
That in turn can affect the next note.
The practice squad
Atlanta has plenty of former in-house candidates to fill practice squad spots. Frank Darby, Caleb Huntley, Teez Tabor, MyCole Pruitt, and several others did enough this summer to extend their stay in Atlanta, and I don’t think the team picked and then soured on Justin Shaffer in the span of a few months. Chances are at least half and maybe even 90% of the practice squad will be filled with familiar faces.
Not all, though. Atlanta was fortunate to pick up some options from other teams last year both after cuts and later, getting current starter Anthony Rush and quality backups like Quinton Bell along the way. If they don’t stake a claim on a particular player they like and don’t want to use up a roster right away, they can still import a free agent via the practice squad and have them work their way up the roster. . I expect there will be at least a few players who fit the bill.
There are also players currently on the roster who figure to end up on the practice squad sooner rather than later. This team has three undrafted free agents (Jared Bernhardt, Timothy Horne and Nate Landman) and some surprise additions like Bell and Mike Ford, who are great stories and promising players, but would also appear to be at the bottom of the team. roster If Atlanta adds players from other teams, someone has to go, and stashing players like Landman and Horne on the initial 53-man roster would seem to increase your chances of sneaking them onto the practice squad in a few days if you’re filling in. them with veterans. Chances are when the team goes to take the field against the Saints, they will have fewer UDFAs taking up roster spots, but any of them that are cut are practically guaranteed to go to the practice squad instead.
It’s going to be a busy few days for the Falcons, who showed last year that they were never really done with the roster. Building a quality practice squad and adding more talent through waivers and free agency is the best way to ensure they have the depth to make it through the season, and that process has already begun.