The Falcons recently released Barkevious Mingo, who posted bail last week after turning himself into Arlington, Texas police for indecency with a child (sexual contact). These accusations are serious, and any NFL organization has reportedly parted ways with Mingo, who is no world-class sleight of hand who deserves to wait for court proceedings to reveal the truth. With the Falcons now clearly in the market for a passing rusher, Terry Fontenot will have around $ 8.6 million in ceiling space in his endeavors. Will he sign a high profile free agent or stick to his cheap deal method for yearlong veterans?
Houston is the perfect free agent for the Falcons after spending the last two seasons with the Colts, recording 19 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 30 quarterback hits in all 32 games. He’s had at least eight sacks in four straight years and he’s also managed 25 presses or more in each of the past three seasons. He only played 59% of defensive snaps in Indianapolis last year, but that’s exactly what the Falcons would need from him. Mykal Walker could be SAM’s first funder, while Houston is the situational sleight-of-hand. His versatility in rushing off the line or getting up in any lineup should intrigue Dean Pees. The only problem with Houston is that it will be the more expensive option on this list.
Ingram, 32, failed to register a sack in last year’s injury-filled season, but hit the seven-sack threshold five consecutive seasons before missing last year. However, he has shown that he can still be effective after finishing with a score of 72.3 PFF. That fits perfectly with his 74.7 rating in 2019, where he made 69% of the Chargers’ defensive snaps and had seven sacks. I prefer Houston to Ingram.
Murphy will be 31 before the end of the season and has just had the worst year of his career for the Sacks in 2020 – registering two sacks and a Pro Football Focus rating of just 66.0. Over the past decade, the former second-round pick recorded 191 tackles (33 for loss), 66 QB hits and 26 sacks. He also forced 10 fumbles, defended six passes and caught an interception. His background is evident, and his experience as an outside linebacker and defensive end is invaluable to Dean Pees and the new Falcons defense. Much like the other two veterans on this list, Murphy is said to be a rotating pass runner. If he didn’t take a minimum of veteran, Atlanta will likely pass.
The options are bleak, of course. Griffen is a decent veteran option, but he’s entering his 12th NFL season and just had a bad year after registering six sacks and 23 quarterback presses. Griffen would be a good addition if the price is right, but if it is not a low cost one year contract; Fontenot will pass.
The former Falcon has always been able to make the most of its opportunities. Even if he’s never been a hit-and-miss every time, he will eventually get his own. He also has occasional takeover games – six sacks in a game as a member of the Falcons against the Cowboys. He is a high level person who will give production under a friendly agreement.