The Atlanta Falcons posted a 7-10 record in their first season without franchise quarterback, Matt Ryan. Though the team led by head coach Arthur Smith entered a rebulding process, a mediocre NFC South gave them a shot at the playoffs in the final weeks. It wasn't enough.
However, the Falcons discovered a lot of things about themselves. Marcus Mariota wasn't the quarterback of the future, Tyler Allgeier is a huge surprise as running-back and they could have a core of explosive players such as Cordarrelle Patterson or Drake London. Another conclusion was the defense has to be revamped.
So, in one of the most important moments for the future of the franchise, owner Arthur Blank has a lot of salary-cap space to bring back the Falcons as true contenders. That's why Atlanta just made a major splash in NFL free agency.
Calais Campbell signs with the Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons signed defensive end Calais Campbell to a one-year contract. He's been a star player for the Arizona Cardinals, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens. This is much needed help for head coach Arthur Smith bringing to the locker room a leader for young players.
Also, it's important to remember the Falcons will start the 2023 season with a new defensive coordinator: Ryan Nielsen. The moves have been there on that side of the ball with the arrival of names such as linebacker Kaden Elliss, defensive end David Onyemata and safety Jessi Bates III. Campbell joins that group.
Now, the big question is on offense. So far, Arthur Blank seems committed to second year quarterback Desmond Ridder and, to bring competition in the room, the Falcons signed Taylor Heinicke who had some flashes playing for the Washington Commanders.