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Falcons Made Big Mistake Passing on Justin Fields, Not Going Full Rebuild


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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2944455-falcons-made-big-mistake-passing-on-justin-fields-not-going-full-rebuild
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Summary

They're neither good enough to be considered a legitimate contender nor bad enough to be in the conversation for next year's No. 1 overall pick.Yet the team didn't commit to either direction this offseason.Instead, the organization chose to rework Matt Ryan's contract to its own detriment and passed on an opportunity to find a long-term starter behind center, opting for tight end Kyle Pitts with this year's fourth overall pick as the class' top non-quarterback prospect.Also, the Falcons caved and traded star receiver Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans.Something Stealers Wheel sang long ago applies to the Falcons' relationship with the team's all-time leading passer:Yes, I'm stuck in the middle with youStuck in the middle with youHere I amStuck in the middle with youThe combination of keeping Ryan, passing on Ohio State's Justin Fields and moving on from Jones doesn't make sense. Running back Mike Davis signed the only deal longer than one year and for more than $3 million.Fontenot and Co. renegotiated Ryan's deal to get the team under the salary cap at the onset of the new league year. The idea of trading the seven-time Pro Bowl selection—which they ultimately did—should have been in the team's back pocket, knowing his departure would create $15 million in salary-cap space after a June 1 trade.Atlanta is now $16 million below the cap (prior to getting the rookie class under contract), per Spotrac.The team had to be under the mandated number when the new league year opened, and Ryan's contract became the most obvious target.

As said here by Brent Sobleski