5 potential trade candidates for the Falcons to consider

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The NFL’s 2021 trade deadline is just a few days away and due to the Atlanta Falcons’ recent resurgence, it would actually make sense for the team to try and address some needs if the right deal becomes available.

Even though the Falcons are short on salary cap space (roughly $1.65 million, per Over the Cap’s projections) and have very few tradable assets, we broke down five possible trade targets who would make sense for Atlanta at the deadline.

Cleveland Browns CB Greedy Williams

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Why is he available?

As a team looking to compete, the Browns are more likely to be buyers than sellers but could use a player like Williams to add to other parts of their team. With Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II and Troy Hill atop the depth chart, Williams could be available. He played well in Newsome’s place when the rookie was injured, increasing his trade value. The former second-round pick missed all of last year with an injury but was thought to have CB1 potential coming out in the 2019 NFL draft. Jared Mueller, Browns Wire

Why does he make sense for the Falcons?

Atlanta’s secondary is lacking in depth and overall talent. Outside of A.J. Terrell, there’s very few, if any, surefire long-term answers at cornerback or safety. Greedy Williams could start on the outside and allow the defense to let Fabian Moreau, Avery Williams and Darren Hall fight for reps at nickel. Coming off a missed season in 2020, the Falcons probably wouldn’t have to give up a ton for the former LSU standout.

Detroit Lions DT Nick Williams

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Why is he available?

Williams has started all seven games for the Lions, but the veteran lineman has seen his snap percentage drop with the ongoing emergence of second-round rookie Levi Onwuzurike, plus second-year DE Jashon Cornell showing real promise in the offseason. Williams is in the final year of his contract and the Lions are fully committed to the youth movement. Williams can still generate a pass rush from both the 3T and 5T and he’s a smart player with scheme adaptability. The Lions won’t actively push Williams out; he’s well-liked by the coaches and teammates. But if a team makes an offer, it’s hard to imagine the Lions not listening to it. Jeff Risdon, Lions Wire

Why does he make sense for the Falcons?

The Falcons definitely need more help along the edge than on the interior, but outside of DT Grady Jarrett, there’s not a ton of depth. As Risdon writes, Williams can play multiple spots and can still contribute as a pass rusher. Playing on the final year of his deal, Williams’ 2021 cap hit is under $3 million. Atlanta has some tough games remaining on the schedule, and if the team wants to really make a playoff run, a player like Williams could help the defense add some physicality up front.

Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Why is he available?

Dalvin Cook’s injury problems continue to affect the Vikings. Mattison remains one of the best backup running backs in the NFL. So why should Minnesota deal Mattison before the trade deadline? Well, the Vikings activated rookie RB Kene Nwangwu off the IR last week. Nwangwu returning makes running back depth less dire. Minnesota’s offensive line isn’t perfect, but the group is good in run-blocking. That makes it so that a Cook fill-in has less trouble finding running lanes. The Vikings would miss Mattison. He’s a good player, and Cook suffering an injury would likely lead to a more significant dropoff on offense if Mattison was not available. However, the Vikings have more glaring needs — like cornerback, for instance. With CB Patrick Peterson on IR, Minnesota should be inclined to shore up that position group. Or else, opposing offenses can pick apart the less-experienced members of the Vikings secondary with ease. Jack White, Vikings Wire

Why does he make sense for the Falcons?

Running back hasn’t been an issue for the Falcons this season, but if either Cordarrelle Patterson or Mike Davis went down, this ground attack could take a serous hit. Adding a quality backup like Mattison would add depth and give Arthur Smith one more toy to play with on offense. Mattison has one year remaining on his contract after this season, and is only due about $1 million per year.

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Why is he available?

Mack has been on the trading block since he was a healthy scratch in Week 3. He’s seen playing time since then, but both sides have mutually agreed to find him a new home. Second-year running back Jonathan Taylor continues his ascent into the elite tier while the versatile Nyheim Hines signed a three-year extension before the season started. There aren’t enough carries to go around for Mack, and there are enough running back needy teams for a deal to get done before the deadline. Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire

Why does he make sense for the Falcons?

Mack was a guy that Falcons fans wanted the team to sign in the offseason. Clearly, the Colts have gone in a different direction with talented running back Jonathan Taylor leading the way. The 25-year-old Mack is just two years removed from his 1,091-yard, eight-touchdown season in 2019. For a Falcons team low on space, Mack could give Arthur Smith another competent back that can do a little bit of everything without having to give up very much.

Tennessee Titans WR Josh Reynolds

George Walker IV-USA TODAY NETWORK

Why is he available?

If anything, the Titans will be buyers at the NFL trade deadline with the team sitting tied atop the AFC and in win-now mode, but if we had to choose one player who could get dealt away, it would be Reynolds. The wideout has been a healthy scratch multiple times this season and is buried on the depth chart when Tennessee’s receiving corps has been at full strength, something he can’t be happy with.Mike Moraitis, Titans Wire

Why does he make sense for the Falcons?

The Falcons have not gotten a ton of production from the wide receiver position through six games. Josh Reynolds, 26, is a low-risk, high-upside player that the team could acquire for very little. He’s been quiet this season, and as Moraitis points out, is buried on the depth chart. In 2020, Reynolds caught 52 balls for 618 yards and two scores for the Rams. Plus, the 6-foot-3 wideout could bring some much-needed size to a receiving core that is relatively short outside of Kyle Pitts.

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