Now that the NFL draft has been completed, the Falcons must find a way to clear even more cap space in order to sign their nine selections. In total, the 2021 NFL draft class will cost just north of $13 million. However, the effective cap hit is a more accurate indicator in determining the required space Atlanta will need.
Here is a quick rundown of which players are projected to get pushed out and the effective salary cap space the team needs to sign the 2021 NFL draft class.
|Current Cap Space: $929,851|
|Player||Real Cost||Player Pushed Out (Cap Hit)||Effective Cap Hit|
|Kyle Pitts||$ 5,983,743||Chris Rowland ($660,000)||$ 5,323,743|
|Richie Grant||$ 1,503,343||Chris Slayton ($660,000)||$ 843,343|
|Jalen Mayfield||$ 946,912||Tyler Hall ($780,000)||$ 166,912|
|Darren Hall||$ 861,189||Willie Beavers ($780,000)||$ 81,189|
|Drew Dalman||$ 854,181||Greg Dortch ($780,000)||$ 74,181|
|Ta’Quon Graham||$ 747,653||Under Top-51 Cut-Off||$ 0|
|Ade Ogundeji||$ 720,039||Under Top-51 Cut-Off||$ 0|
|Avery Williams||$ 720,039||Under Top-51 Cut-Off||$ 0|
|Frank Darby||$ 711,123||Under Top-51 Cut-Off||$ 0|
|Total||$ 13,048,222||Total||$ 6,489,368|
Starting with rookie Ta’Quon Graham, his projected cap hit ($ 747,653) is less than that of Delrick Adams, who has a cap hit of $780,000. Thus, everyone picked after Graham, including Graham, will fall below the top-51 cut-off line.
Atlanta has recently discussed moving Julio Jones as a way to free up cap space. Finding a trade partner after June 1 will save the Falcons $15.3 million, but will also carry a dead cap hit of $15.5 million in 2022. This is something the team wants to avoid.
However, while trading Jones will create the most space, it isn’t the only way in which the team can save funds. As I highlighted before the draft, extensions and restructures are possible scenarios in which the Falcons can get under the cap.
Furthermore, eventually the team will need to expand to the seasonal 53-man roster cut-off in which another $1.56 million will need to be added on for both Delrick Adams and Tony Brook-James. But that’s just the bare minimum. If the Falcons can’t find a way to offer an extension to either Jones or Grady Jarrett, then trading Jones could be their only option.