The Atlanta Falcons have a variety of holes to fill this offseason, so making a splash with one big free-agent signing doesn't appear to be the primary focus at this point.
However, Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn't looking to hold back on spending in free agency, either.
"We will spend every dollar that I'm committed to spending," Blank said. "We are very limited by cap space. We'll probably end up with -- prior to the 9th of March which is the start of free agency -- between $20 million to $24 million in cap room. We will spend whatever we can to ensure a successful team."
The Falcons just need to be wiser with the players they spend money to sign.
Over the last two years, the Falcons committed $42 million guaranteed to four players who haven't made significant impacts: nose tackle Paul Soliai ($14 million), defensive lineman Tyson Jackson ($11 million), linebacker Brooks Reed ($9 million), and offensive guard Jon Asamoah ($9 million). Soliai and Jackson are solid run-stuffers but the Falcons need more versatility from their defensive linemen in terms of pressuring the quarterback, too. Reed struggled to adjust to his new team this past season after undergoing groin surgery. And Asamoah is no longer with the team after agreeing to an injury settlement.
Blank was asked if those financial commitments bothered him.
"How [the money] is invested is really a decision that personnel and the coach have to make," Blank said. "You want to make wise decisions whether they sign one player or 20 players, or how it's distributed between one and 20 that you're getting a return on your investment. That's why they're paid to make those decisions. And I expect them, with the new staff in place, to have that staff that will have the new perspective not only with the existing roster but with players who are going to be available in free agency."
Blank was referring to the additions of new pro personnel director Joel Collier along with former general managers turned national scouts Phil Emery and Ruston Webster. Blank continued to partnership between head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who has admitted his job is on the line. Assistant general manager Scott Pioli oversees pro and college personnel and reports to Dimitroff.
Quinn obviously wants to bolster both the offensive and defensive lines. And linebacker just became an even bigger priority after the Falcons cut ties with arguably their best linebacker -- Justin Durant -- as a result of his injury history. Durant received $3 million guaranteed in a three-year contract signed prior to last season.
The release of Durant and veteran strong safety William Moore Monday saved almost another $6 million in cap space for 2016. We'll see if more cuts and thus, more cap space leads to the Falcons being bigger players once free agency begins.