The Atlanta Falcons have hit the reset button at the top of their staff, firing both coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff after an 0-5 start to the 2020 season. Now all eyes are on the players. Team president Rich McKay said this week the Falcons won't "predetermine the roster" for the next coach and GM by selling off as much talent as possible, but he also acknowledged Atlanta would listen to trade offers ahead of the Nov. 3 in-season deadline.
So which players could -- or should -- be available if/when teams call? Here are four logical candidates to be shopped now that the Falcons are full-on rebuilding, with even franchise quarterback Matt Ryan staring at an uncertain future:
If you're going to blow it up, then blow it up. Jones will forever be a Falcons legend, and this isn't to say he's completely washed as a No. 1 WR, but is he really going to be around and/or elite when Atlanta is ready to compete again? Julio will turn 32 after the season, he's owed $61.5 million over the next three years (an average of $20.5M per year, more than any WR except DeAndre Hopkins), and more importantly, he's been either banged up or just so-so in 2020, on track to see his numbers decline for a second straight year. At the same time, will his value ever be higher? He's still a seven-time Pro Bowler with killer size and instincts who could conceivably take a contender to the next level down the stretch. If teams come calling (and they should), the Falcons would be wise to listen, especially with Calvin Ridley firmly establishing himself as a longer-term star.
Carpenter is just over a year removed from inking a four-year deal to be Atlanta's starting left guard, but there's nothing that indicates he's a must-have over the next half-decade. Limited to 11 games in 2019, he's already staring his likely successor in the face with center/guard Matt Hennessy arriving as a third-rounder this year. The Falcons can knock more than $12M off their books starting in 2021 by sending him elsewhere, and while teams probably won't be lining up to pay a premium for a guy who hasn't finished a season since 2017, you can also do a lot worse trying to add interior experience at the deadline.
Potential compensation: 2021 mid- to late-round draft pick
Potential landing spots: Dolphins, 49ers, Raiders
Mack isn't a Julio Jones-level star, but he's still a big name who's been as good as advertised in Atlanta, logging three Pro Bowl nods and two All-Pro honors since coming over from Cleveland in 2016. Fast approaching age 35, however, with a 2021 free agency bid right around the corner, he's one of the most logical vets who could be auctioned off. His durability is an added bonus, as Mack hasn't missed a game for five years and counting. Sacrificing his steadiness as the anchor of the O-line for a single draft pick might not feel great in the moment, but how much longer would they keep him anyway? Hennessy is a viable candidate to take over here as well.
Allen has quietly been one of the steadiest pieces of Atlanta's secondary for some time, never logging a single Pro Bowl nod but thrice recording multiple interceptions and four times eclipsing 50 tackles at the back end of the defense. He turns 29 in December, however, and is owed $8.375M in 2021, the final year of his contract. At this point in his career, he is what he is: A serviceable veteran safety. There's no reason, with Dan Quinn gone and the "D" set to undergo an overhaul, Atlanta shouldn't see what it can get from a team that could use proven experience in the defensive backfield.