Ranking all 6 NFL GM openings; Where do the Lions land?

Detroit Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

6) Falcons (4-12)

  • owner: Arthur Blank
  • head coach: Raheem Morris (interim)
  • projected ’21 cap space: $(-$25,185,920) (30th in NFL)
  • projected ’21 draft pick: 4th-overall pick

For being last on the list, I’d still say top to bottom Atlanta might have the 2nd-best roster on this list right now, anchored by quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. But it’s no longer 2012.

They have some young talent like second-year guard Chris Lindstrom, as well as defensive rookies cornerback A.J. Terrell and linebacker Mykal Walker. But no much else in terms of building blocks.

With the projected third-worst cap in 2021, Atlanta will have to make some tough cuts to the role players too. Even if you wanted to move on from the Ryan and Jones era, their contracts won’t allow it. No one is trading for a 36-year-old Ryan with a $41, $41, and $36 million cap hit for the next three years.

They have the fourth-overall pick, but this is one of the further teams away from competing and it’s about to get worse. I don’t know if now is even the time to get your next quarterback.

The Falcons are a bad team, in a horrible cap situation, with not a lot to work with besides what’s already been tried … and failed.

More. Looking back at the Detroit Lions top moments of 2020. light

Ownership: Atlanta’s owner Arthur Blank is known to be a non-meddling type. But similar to Easterby in Houston, there’s been reports of concern over team President Rich McKay’s involvement in football operations and time spent in the owner’s ear.