After hiring Raheem Morris as their next head coach, all eyes are on the Atlanta Falcons on what they want to do in NFL free agency and the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. Atlanta has roughly $30 million in available cap space, which puts them about $10 million ahead of the league average. The Falcons also have the No. 8 overall pick in this spring's draft, one that seems to be especially deep at quarterback.
While the Falcons were the epitome of a 7-10 football team under their previous head coach Arthur Smith, there were signs of good on this underperforming franchise. The offensive weaponry is emerging and the offensive line is low-key good. Although the defense had its lapses at times, Atlanta was able to generate a pass rush and could force turnovers with far greater regularity than before.
Of course, with a new coaching staff taking over, general manager Terry Fontenot will be tasked with adjusting this football team to what Morris wants to do over Smith. This includes fine-tuning an on-the-rise defense that flourished under Ryan Nielsen a season ago. He now takes over the defense in Jacksonville. That team is poised to bounce back after narrowly missing out on the AFC playoffs.
With that said, here are three impending free agents the Falcons will need to prioritize retaining.
3. Calais Campbell can still play at a high level now in his very late 30s
I don't care that he is going to be 38 years old at the start of next season, Calais Campbell is the man, and one of my all-time favorite players. The fact he even suited up for my hometown Falcons last season is something I will always cherish. The six-time Pro Bowler and Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2019 is destined for Canton. Even in his very late 30s, he is playing at an extraordinarily high level.
Campbell was tied for the team lead in sacks with 6.5. This was his best season since his first year with the Baltimore Ravens in 2020. Given that he is a pillar of every community he plays in, I would venture to guess that if he wants to play with the Falcons for one more season, Arthur Blank and Warrick Dunn would certainly welcome that. Campbell is going to do great things after he retires.
While I loved having him wreak havoc in the middle of the Atlanta defense last year, I think as fans we were denied of something truly special with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett missing the bulk of the year due to injury. Jarrett is a team leader, too. Like Campbell, he is one of the most underrated players in the league. Just having them work together for one more year would be so beneficial.
Even if Campbell falls off a cliff physically, he makes every locker room he enters so much better.