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ESPN Calls Falcons ‘Big Losers’ at NFL Trade Deadline

The Atlanta Falcons went into Tuesday’s NFL Trade Deadline hoping to acquire a pass rusher. There were pass rushers to be had, but they didn’t end up in Atlanta.

The Washington Commanders traded both Montez Sweat and Chase Young to the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers respectively. It was thought Sweat was close to becoming an Atlanta Falcons player, but the second-round pick from the Bears (currently No. 35 overall) seemingly trumped any Falcons’ offer.

Young went for a cheaper price to the 49ers. He went to San Francisco for a third-round pick. That pick could end up being closer to No. 100 than No. 60 by the time the draft order is set.

ESPN picked the winners and losers from the NFL Trade Deadline once the dust had settled, and Atlanta came in on the wrong side of the ledger.

“No colossal losers here, but I’ll point to a pair of teams in the NFC South,” wrote Jeremy Fowler in his ESPN+ column. “Atlanta had its sights set on Sweat, but Washington went with Chicago’s offer. That left the Falcons without much-needed pass-rush help. And my understanding is Atlanta was willing to extend Sweat’s contract as part of the deal and that Sweat wanted to go to Atlanta, where he has family. All of that fell through. Coming out of this with former Eagle Kentavius Street for a late-round pick swap is anticlimactic.”

Fowler threw in an interesting tidbit. The Falcons and Sweat had basically agreed on a contract extension. Could the pending free agent end up a Falcons player next season anyway? The Chicago Bears have the rest of the season to convince him in their project. They lead the NFL in available salary-cap space for next season.

Chase young for a third-round pick looks cheap on the surface. However, after the trade “character concerns” started making the rounds about Young.

I wonder if those are the same character concerns holding back defensive rookie of the year candidate Jalen Carter… but I digress.

Fowler also pointed to the Carolina Panthers as one of his losers for the day. He had the Panthers pegged as sellers with not buyers.

The Atlanta Falcons have to address their edge rusher position. Bud Dupree, Lorenzo Carter, and Arnold Ebiketie are solid No. 2s. However none of the three strike fear into opposing tackles.

If the Falcons sign Sweat in the offseason, they’ll look like winners for not giving up a premium draft pick.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at, 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.