Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has proven he is not afraid to bet the farm to land the golden calf. In 2011, he made the controversial decision to give up five draft picks for Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, but it was a decision that helped propel the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game.
Sunday’s loss to San Francisco proved there’s more holes to fill on this roster. The defense’s inability to hold a 17-point lead brings into question both depth and endurance. The offense’s inability to establish a run game brings into question the talent of a few offensive linemen and whether running back Michael Turner's best days are behind him.
For Atlanta to take the next step, from perennial playoff contender to championship winner, risks—like the ones that landed Jones—will need to be taken. The theme in Atlanta this offseason will be aggressive, in both the NFL draft and free agency.
We will have to wait and see whether their aggressiveness gives them the boldness to make the following four big moves in free agency.