The Atlanta Falcons are ready to make defense a focus in the upcoming NFL Draft. Outside of an offensive lineman and a running back, the Falcons could load up on defensive depth, something they severely lacked in 2013. In the offseason, the team waived several secondary stars in order to gain cap space and will now be left filling the holes at the safety position and defensive line spots with rookies. However, a certain trade scenario could help better than a rookie.
According to OptimumScouting.com, the Atlanta Falcons are considering making a trade for current Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Eric Galko writes that there is a real possibility the Falcons and Chiefs strike a deal on draft day for Berry as the reported price tag is a second-round draft pick. Kansas City does not have a pick in the second round after giving one up for quarterback Alex Smith and they are ready to get that back.
There is a very slim chance that this deal happens, but entertain it for a moment because it does make sense outside of having to give up a second-round pick. The Falcons have a huge hole at the safety spot after released Asante Samuel and Thomas Decoud in the offseason. Atlanta finished 21st in defending the pass in 2013 giving up 3,897 yards total and 31 touchdowns. They only grabbed 10 interceptions and would love to change that. Atlanta also missed out on several free agents in the offseason leaving them with just veterans at the spot.
Berry is a budding star at 25. The Chiefs have not officially said they are putting Berry up on the market, but many reporters believe Berry is up for grabs with his expiring contract. He will be an $8 million cap hit in 2014 and a second-round pick is more than fair for the safety. The Falcons would have the money to sign Berry. They could use their post-June 1 DeCoud cash and still have breathing room for the rookie contracts.
The obstacle here could be Kansas City's willingness to deal. Berry is an excellent secondary star. He put up 66 tackles, three interceptions and two touchdown returns last year and would be a huge upgrade for Atlanta after they dealt with Samuel's array of injuries last year. Do not forget that Berry is a hometown kid having graduated high school in Atlanta. The move makes sense for both teams, it just depends on if this is a smokescreen or whether both teams will actually pick up the phones on Friday.