Atlanta Falcons Free Agency Targets Jamal Adams - Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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3-Time Pro Bowl Safety ‘Perfect Fit’ for Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have spent a lot of resources in recent years on the offensive side of the ball. Eight of the 11 projected starters were draft picks and Atlanta spent big on Kirk Cousins.

There are holes on defensive, most notably edge, safety, and cornerback. Richie Grant was a second-round pick three years ago, and he has woefully underperformed. Arnold Ebiketie was a second-round choice at edge two years ago. He’s shown promise, but he needs help. Starting cornerback Jeffrey Okudah signed with the Houston Texans.

A.J. Terrell was a first-round choice, and Jessie Bates was a big-ticket free agent. They need help in the secondary.

The Falcons can address edge rusher or cornerback with the No. 8 pick in the draft next month.

However, there is a flood of veteran safeties in the free agent market. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell think three-time Pro Bowler Jamal Adams is a ‘perfect fit’ for the Atlanta Falcons.

He starts off with the bad… why is Adams still on the market, or on the market at all after the Seahawks traded a ransom to get him from the Jets?

“A deep safety market and a brutal run of injuries,” wrote Barnwell on ESPN+. “Adams commanded two first-round picks when the Jets dealt him to the Seahawks in a 2020 deal that eventually landed them Garrett Wilson. Things didn’t go as well as Pete Carroll & Co. planned, though. Adams had 9.5 sacks in his debut season with the team and zero over the ensuing three. Teams, most notably Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers, exploited him in coverage.”

Injury prone, underproductive and a liability in coverage? He sounds like an Atlanta Falcons player already. Seriously… what’s the good part?

“In a league that is both relying more on ‘hybrid’ players and getting more out of those talents than ever before, Adams’ unique skill set makes him a useful player when healthy,” wrote Barnwell. “He’s really more of a sub-package linebacker than pure safety, but he is certainly better than most linebackers in coverage and can be an absolute nightmare to block when he gets speed going after the quarterback.

“He’s one of the few players with the size and speed to spy against mobile quarterbacks, and at 28, he still isn’t out of his quickness peak. There’s a decent chance a team will sign him and get 100 snaps of injury-riddled football, but how many players at their position left in free agency have legitimate Pro Bowl potential if they stay healthy?”

Barnwell goes on to state why his best fit would be the Falcons.

Jessie Bates has one safety spot locked down, but 2021 second-round pick Richie Grant regressed badly last season and is entering the final year of his contract,” wrote Barnwell. “Adams could push second-year safety DeMarcco Hellams for a starting role and offer an oft-moribund Falcons pass rush some extra juice as a blitzer.”

OK, so there’s a need at safety, and Atlanta needs help in the pass rush.

We knew that already.

Unfortunately, Adams injury history and lack of production doesn’t sound like what the Falcons need in a second safety. Grant will be lucky to make the team, knowing Atlanta can save roughly $3.2 million by releasing him. Hellams is young and developing.

A veteran safety, excellent in coverage , who has missed seven games in six seasons? That would be former Denver Bronco Justin Simmons.

Simmons is also excellent in the community, the Broncos’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee three times.

Adams as a third safety poses little or no risk with excellent upside, however Simmons as a partner with Jessie Bates is the ‘perfect fit’.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at Scout.com, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.
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