The Atlanta Falcons pass rush may be heading for an even worse season.
The team needed to sign a big-name rusher but have now lost out on the two biggest names over the past few weeks. The Atlanta Falcons have the money to sign the guys but were not willing or able to get something done.
There is no doubt that the Falcons pass rush has not been good for years, but they also have overachieved by a little bit over the past couple of years.
With Justin Houston and Melvin Ingram signing elsewhere, the Atlanta Falcons pass-rushing unit may be heading to a dark place.
The Falcons needed to try and find a way to bring in either Justin Houston or Melvin Ingram, but Ingram signed with the Steelers a few weeks ago. And now Houston is signing to the Ravens for only four million for one year.
Former All-Pro edge rusher Justin Houston reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million with the Baltimore Ravens, per sources. Houston turned down significantly more money from other teams in order to pursue a championship with the Ravens, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2021
You look at their group and you do not see a whole lot. Dante Fowler Jr. is certainly the biggest name, but he was only able to get three sacks last season, so you have no idea where the reasonable expectations are for him.
Fowler has the potential to put up double-digit sacks, but that is not something you can count on like we all did the last offseason from him.
Grady Jarrett is the team’s best rusher, but he is coming up the middle and this is purely focused on the outside unit. Beyond Fowler, you have a veteran in Steven Means and a bunch of unproven young rushers. It seems as though the Falcons are relying heavily on the rookies and for Fowler to show last season was an outlier.
There are still a couple guys on the free-agent market, like Everson Griffen, Ezekiel Ansah, or maybe if things get desperate enough they could take a flier on Vic Beasley again.
Whatever happens or does not happen between now and the start of the Atlanta Falcons season, you cannot say the outside pass rush is good enough to compete. If they want to be, it will take numerous young players to step up and play extremely well.