Report: Mohamed Sanu Trade Marks Beginning of Falcons 'Fire Sale'

Tuesday morning, the Atlanta Falcons traded wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots, receiving a second-round pick in return. As a longtime contributor for the team, this move was viewed as surprising by many. However, Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated actually believes that this is the beginning of a "fire sale" in which the team parts ways with numerous players.

"I think, unfortunately, that era is over, "Orr said on Tuesday. "That Super Bowl team is going to get broken apart. Vic Beasley is certainly another name that I think we are going to see departing there. Maybe Austin Hooper, the tight end, is another guy that is coming off his rookie deal."

There were only two names mentioned during Orr's brief explanation, but labeling the coming weeks as a fire sale means that multiple veterans could be on the move. The Falcons will need to add more draft picks and salary-cap space for the coming years, and parting ways with players is the primary method.

At 1-6 on the season following a loss to the Los Angeles Rams at home, it's expected that many changes will be made in the coming months. The job security of head coach Dan Quinn isn't guaranteed, and many players could be on the move as the general manager Thomas Dimitroff looks to bring more draft picks to town in an effort to kick off the rebuild.

As Orr said, Beasley is a name that will be oft-discussed leading up to the Oct. 29 trade deadline. Once a promising first-round pick, the pass rusher posted a career-high 15.5 sacks in his second season. However, he has since only reached a combined 11.5 sacks in the time since. This includes seasons in 2017 and 2018 in which he only registered five sacks each year.

While the market hasn't quite generated as expected for Beasley, there will still be suitors in search of his services. The Oakland Raiders have significant needs on defense, including at pass rusher, and they could look to add Beasley to Paul Guenther's defense. The team just received a third-round pick from the Houston Texans in exchange for cornerback Gareon Conley, which could be used to bolster the defensive line.

While Beasley has long been viewed as someone that could be moved, Hooper is a player that has been producing at a consistent level for this Falcons offense. As a safety valve for quarterback Matt Ryan, the fourth-year tight end from Stanford has 14 career touchdowns and is on the way to a new personal best in receiving yards. He has 526 through seven games and is only 134 yards shy of tying his previous career-high (660).


If the Falcons do indeed trade Hooper to a tight end-needy team, such as the Seattle Seahawks, they will have parted ways with two of their top four targets in terms of yards. Julio Jones leads the group with 560 yards while fellow Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley is third on the team with 373 yards. Sanu was fourth overall with 313 prior to his departure for New England.

Considering that there is still time remaining until the trade deadline, it's very possible that the Falcons will continue to make moves in order to plan for the future. Beasley will likely be gone, and Hooper could join him as well. What other players will be used to add more future draft picks?