Dante Fowler, Jr. rumored to be eyeing Falcons

Jeremy Johnson

The Atlanta Falcons missed their first chance at romance with Dante Fowler, Jr. during the 2015 NFL Draft.

Fate, convenience or a little bit of both has sparked a few whispers that Fowler could have his eye on joining the Falcons as he becomes a free agent this offseason. Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network has reported that Fowler would like to join the Falcons this offseason.

Fowler was coached by Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn in his freshman season at the University of Florida. Quinn was the man on the phone, in the living room, guiding and selling Fowler on joining the Gators during Fowler’s recruiting process.

The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Falcons to Fowler and took him with the third overall pick in 2015. The Falcons selected Vic Beasley five slots later with the eighth overall pick. Fowler worked out for the Falcons leading up to the draft and the connection to Quinn made him an obvious candidate to fill the Falcons’ dire need for a speedy pass rusher.

Hindsight doesn’t bode well for either Beasley or Fowler. The Falcons announced last week that they would be moving on from Beasley after five seasons, 37.5 sacks, one Pro Bowl and 154 tackles.

Fowler ended 2019 on his second team in five seasons. he appears to be on more of an uptick after posting 11.5 sacks with the Los Angeles Rams this season, albeit playing next to two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald certainly has it's advantages. Fowler would have an effective force inside in Atlanta as well in the form of Grady Jarrett.

Fowler’s connection with Quinn, the Falcons’ need for a pass rushing help does make the fit an intriguing one. Fowler is a St. Petersburg, Florida native, so Atlanta could also be desirable due to location.

It is unclear what Fowler will demand financially or if the Falcons even have the salary cap resources to make a competitive offer. Pass rushers are at a premium and after a standout season Fowler has a ton of value and might be out of Atlanta's price range given their current cap restraints.