Chris Long probably top 'name' left on Falcons' free-agent list

Free agent Chris Long could boost an Atlanta pass rush that produced a league low 19 sacks last season. AP Photo/Tom Gannam

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said things were winding down in terms of adding free agents to help bolster the roster.

Former No. 3 overall pick Chris Long, the defensive end released by the Rams, probably is the biggest name left on the Falcons' list.

Long, who turns 31 at the end of the month, visited Atlanta last week but no contract was reached. And now, Long is expected to visit the Patriots on Monday after previously visiting the Redskins.

Quinn talked as if he wants Long in the fold, but we'll see how things unfold with Long's other visits. Long also is expected to visit the Cowboys, and one would think the chance of joining the Patriots or Cowboys would intrigue him the most if money is equal.

Long had left ankle surgery in 2014 and played in just six games that season, then dealt with a fractured bone in his knee last season. He sent out a tweet on Sunday which indicated those injuries are behind him:

Long, who has 54.5 sacks, is a guy Quinn views as a capable edge and interior rusher. The Falcons sorely need to improve their pass rush after posting a league-low 19 sacks last season. The re-signing of Adrian Clayborn and the addition of ex-Miami Dolphin Derrick Shelby were the first steps in the process.

Regarding other free agents still on the market, the Falcons expressed interest in veteran safety Reggie Nelson, though nothing has materialized. Another safety, Walter Thurmond, was a player the Falcons were interested in last offseason. And safety is the position Quinn said still needed to be addressed after the team cut ties with veteran strong safety William Moore.

The Falcons entered free agency with about $24 million in cap space. The 2016 cap numbers for the top two players signed, center Alex Mack and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, are $4,050,000 and $2,400,000, respectively. Clayborn's is $3 million, and Shelby's cap number is expected to be just over $2,000,000. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who signed a one-year deal to return, has a cap number of $1,437,500, and re-signed offensive tackle Bryce Harris' cap number is $660,000.

The full details of quarterback Matt Schaub's one-year deal have not been released yet, but Schaub will make a base salary of $1,250,000.