The Falcons traded veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
With the Falcons at 1-6, the team plans to be more active with the 4 p.m. Oct. 29 trade deadline approaching.
The Falcons will receive a second-round pick in next year’s NFL draft.
This likely is the first move, as the team needs to regain some draft picks because of a tight salary-cap situation.
“I think knowing this week off the field, general managers, and ours included, they’re taking calls and making calls constantly,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Monday. “Names get brought up, things get discussed, that sometimes never happen. But we really think about the team a lot, not just now or this week or in this moment, but we're always thinking about the team and constantly evaluating the roster in that space.”
Sanu has 33 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown this season. He had a career-high 67 catches in 2017 and was a starter on the Super Bowl team in the 2016 season.
The Falcons declined to make a team official available to discuss the trade.
Wide receiver is the deepest position on the roster for the Falcons with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Justin Hardy and Olamide Zaccheaus.
The Falcons also have wide receivers Christian Blake and Brandon Powell on the practice squad.
Sanu was taken in the third round of the 2012 draft out of Rutgers by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sanu has 402 career receptions for 4,607 yards and 27 touchdowns, including eight postseason games. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.
Sanu was set to make $6.5 million in salary for 2020. The Falcons will take a $3.8 million cap hit this season and $1.4 million in 2020.
Reportedly, the Falcons are also looking to move defensive end Vic Beasley. He may be harder to trade because teams know he will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. His trade value is low.
Beasley has come to grips that a trade is a possibility.
“I didn’t ask for it,” Beasley said. “Just taking it one day at a time. If upstairs, (Quinn) and (general manager Thomas) Dimitroff feel that’s what is needed, I’ll understand. But as long as I’m here, I’m going to try to help this team win games.”
Beasley led the league in sacks with 15.5 in 2016 and won the league's Deacon Jones award. Teams figured out his moves, and his inability to develop a counter move is why he's having trouble getting to the quarterback.
Quinn wanted to work with Beasley this past offseason to develop some counter moves, but Beasley elected to stay away from the offseason program and workout on his own.
Beasley, who was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, is not sure if he needs or would welcome a fresh start.
“I feel like we got the players in this room to win games,” Beasley said. “I feel like we’re definitely capable of winning games. I feel like, if they feel I need a fresh start, while that’s understandable. But the team here, the players here ... is the same collection of guys who went to the Super Bowl a few years ago.”
D. Orlando Ledbetter, Esq is the award-winning Atlanta Falcons beat writer for the newspaper, has been on the staff since 2003. Every day D. Orlando strives to provide inside in the Falcons and the NFL. He finds the most joy in providing insight into the team, the coaching moves, the offseason business moves, the draft and the games.