Falcons recap: Julio Jones’ playoff debut, Patterson’s tweet

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Fans in Atlanta will get to see a familiar face during Saturday’s AFC playoff matchup between the Tennessee Titans and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Julio Jones, the most prolific wide receiver in Falcons franchise history, will make his postseason debut with the Titans. The 32-year-old was dealt to Tennessee over the offseason, netting Atlanta a 2022 second-round pick and freeing up millions in cap space. On the flip side, the Falcons were limited this season by what was arguably the worst wide receiver group since Matt Ryan‘s arrival in 2008.

In today’s recap, we check in on Jones, examine a cryptic tweet by Cordarrelle Patterson and break down some more free agents.

Julio Jones' moment of truth

The Falcons moved up to acquire Julio Jones over a decade a ago and while the decision paid off, the team never was able to secure a Super Bowl during Jones’ 10 years. Needing cap space, Atlanta sent Jones to a playoff contender in Tennessee. He would appear in 10 games, totaling 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown.

However, Tennessee acquired him for a postseason run, and Jones is getting healthy at the perfect time to prove he can be a difference-maker for the Titans.

Cordarrelle Patterson's cryptic tweet

Not only did Patterson tweet this picture out of he and Falcons GM Terry Fontenot talking on the field, the breakout running back also changed his profile picture to the same image. Could this mean Patterson and Fontenot are working out a deal, or is he simply trying to show his general manager along with the fans that he’s committed to returning to Atlanta?

There was never any question about the team wanting Patterson back, it’s just a matter of whether the Falcons can afford him. Although, there are a few things Fontenot could do to create some cap space.

Two Falcons assistants to coach at East-West Shrine Bowl

(AP Photo)

Free agency: Running backs

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons Wire’s Deen Worley lays out five running backs that would make sense for Atlanta in free agency. Obviously, this depends on whether Patterson gets a new deal or not. As we mentioned above, it’s clear the converted kick returner wants to return.

If the Falcons can’t re-sign Patterson, Ty Montgomery and Matt Breida are among the top options in free agency.

Free agency: 15 QB options for the Falcons

(AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Colt McCoy? These are just a few of the names on this year’s free-agent quarterback market. The Falcons’ backups underwhelmed in 2021, and if the team doesn’t select a quarterback in the upcoming draft, Atlanta could be in the market for a new No. 2 to No. 2.

Here’s a look at 15 free-agent QB options for the Falcons in 2022.

Happy Birthday Russell Gage

After a quiet start to the season, Russell Gage finished with 66 catches for 770 yards and four touchdowns. The 26-year-old is a free agent and unless he’s willing to take less money, Gage could be gone this offseason. The former sixth-round pick out of LSU impressively worked his way up to a starting-caliber NFL receiver and is well deserving of a payday.

Falcons sign TE Daniel Helm to futures deal

Helm, 26, has played in 15 career games, including nine this season with the Las Vegas Raiders. Primarily used as a blocking tight end, Helm has just one career catch. He becomes the 20th player to sign a reserve/future deal with the Falcons over the last two weeks.

Kiper's new mock has Falcons drafting CB

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Atlanta pairing A.J. Terrell with another potential shut-down corner in his latest mock draft. LSU cornerback Derek Stingley is the pick for Atlanta. Here’s what Kiper says about the selection:

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