Falcons Attempted Draft Day Trade Up with Arizona Cardinals

The Atlanta Falcons attempted to trade for the draft's No. 27 overall selection.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot tried to trade into the first round but came up short.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot tried to trade into the first round but came up short. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the surprising selection of quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 overall, Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot said he tried to move back into the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Days later, video surfaced of the Falcons attempting a trade with the New York Jets to grab pick No. 10, an effort that ultimately went unrewarded.

But evidently, Fontenot kept trying.

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The Arizona Cardinals, who owned the 27th selection in the opening frame, released footage Tuesday as a part of the series "Flight Plan" from inside their war room on draft night.

Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort answered a call from Fontenot before Arizona selected defensive lineman Darius Robinson.

"Hey Terry, we're going to pick a player," Ossenfort said on the call. "Unless we get totally busted here over the next three picks, Terry, we're going to probably pick."

Following the draft's second night, during which the Falcons selected defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro and edge rusher Bralen Trice, Fontenot revisited Atlanta's first round trade-up efforts and revealed there were multiple pass rushers he had in mind.

The trades ultimately didn't materialize, but it wasn't without effort from Fontenot and staff.

"We were really trying to do it," Fontenot said. "We called every team from starting at nine all the way down to 32. And we were really aggressive in doing it. We felt there were times we were close. We made some pretty big offers.

"We got into some deeper conversations with some teams. It obviously didn't work out, but we were aggressive."

Fontenot added Atlanta had interest in other players outside of the defensive line group, but addressing pass rush was certainly a priority. Nonetheless, Fontenot said he and head coach Raheem Morris were "still excited" about how the situation unfolded.

During OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Orhorhoro and Trice each spent time working with the second-team defensive line. How their futures fare will ultimately dictate whether the Falcons dodged a draft-day bullet or will look back with remorse.

Regardless, the cards fell how they did - though Fontenot tried to make them unfold differently.

Daniel Flick


Daniel Flick is an accredited NFL writer for Sports Illustrated's FanNation. Daniel has provided boots-on-ground coverage at the NFL Combine and from the Atlanta Falcons' headquarters, among other destinations, and contributed to the annual Lindy's Sports Magazine ahead of the 2023 offseason. Daniel is a co-host on the 404TheFalcon podcast and previously wrote for the Around the Block Network and Georgia Sports Hospitality Media.