Five things to know about the Falcons on Monday

Here are five things to know about the Falcons in what will be a busy week around the NFL with the start of the league’s new business year on Wednesday.

1. Tampering period. NFL teams are allow to contact player representatives of potential unrestricted free agents starting today at noon. 

2. Free agency starts. The new league business year starts at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The Falcons are projected to have $17.5 million under their salary cap and will not be major players in free agency. 

3. Salary cap. The Falcons will have $178,321,399 for the salary cap in 2018, counting their carryover money. The official salary number was released by the NFLPA last Tuesday. The salary cap was set at $177.2 million.

4. Wreh-Wilson re-signed. The Falcons re-signed reserve cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson on Saturday. Wreh-Wilson, 28, was a third-round draft choice by Tennessee and played three seasons with the Titans before signing with the Falcons in 2016. 

5. Falcons free-agency tracker. The unrestricted free agent list:

— Matt Bryant has been re-signed.

— Defensive Adrian Clayborn led the team in sacks with 10.5 (including the playoffs). He played 576 snaps, the third-highest total along the defensive line.

— Fullback Derrick Coleman played 268 snaps on special teams and led the team in special teams tackles with 15.

— Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel didn’t provide the same explosive plays and will not be re-signed. Was a disappointment in second season with the team. 

— Offensive lineman Ben Garland is well-liked, but team is looking to upgrade the guard position.

— Linebacker/safety Kemal Ishmael played 336 snaps on special teams and has value a reserve. Will test to market to see if someone things he’s more than a reserve.

— Running back Leon McFadden was a late-season add with both starting running backs suffering concussion. 

— Offensive tackle Austin Pasztor was the backup swing tackle who was active for eight games. 

— Defensive tackle Dontari Poe is headed for free agency where he’s expected to land a “lucrative deal,” according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff. He played 868 defensive snaps, the second highest on the team behind Jarrett’s 870. He also played eight snaps on offense. 

— Returner Andre Roberts was plagued by poor blocking. He’s expecting to become a free agent.

— Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin provided quality depth as a run-stuffer. 

— Linebacker Jordan Tripp considered a solid special-teamer when healthy.

— Defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw plays the run well for a former linebacker. Has held up well in the trenches. 

— Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon was insurance last season for the young and inexperienced unit. He wants to continue playing.

— Wide receiver Nick Williams will likely end up in San Francisco. Quinn mention Marvin Hall and Reggie Davis as potential replacement for the Gabriel and Williams.

— Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson has re-signed with the team.

Restricted free agents:

— Free safety Ricardo Allen looks like a second-round tender would keep him with the team.

— Running back Terron Ward is a valuable reserve that the team has confidence in. 

— Running back Terrence Magee provided additional insurance as the backs got injured over the course of the season. Zeke Sandhu, his agent, told the AJC he’s returning.

Exclusive-rights free agents: The Falcons have two:

— Safety Sharrod Neasman played 184 special teams snaps as a valuable reserve.

— Offensive lineman Jamil Douglas has potential at the interior positions. 



Subscribe to “The Bow Tie Chronicles” podcast with the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter on iTunes or on the new AJC sports podcasts page. 

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