The Atlanta Falcons saw their roster go through a bit of an overhaul this offseason. Their offense didn't change all that much, as players like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are still the headliners. With that said, though, we'll see a new workhorse back in 2015 for Atlanta, which will likely be either Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman.
For those four players named above, it's safe to say that none of them should be worried about their job security beyond 2015, barring something crazy. But what about the players on Atlanta's roster who are facing a make-or-break season this year?
Well, there are definitely a few of those, but who are the five players who have the most to prove this season?
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Kroy Biermann, defensive end
The Atlanta Falcons chose to re-sign Kroy Biermann to a one-year deal this offseason, but it's the definition of a "prove it" deal. Biermann finished up 2014 with 77 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, three pass deflections and a forced fumble, but was still criticized frequently.
With the Falcons drafting Vic Beasley, as well as signing Adrian Clayborn, this is a huge year for Biermann. If he's able to excel in Dan Quinn's new-look defense, then he may get a multi-year deal, but there's still looming concern after his Achilles injury back in 2013.
Biermann obviously has plenty of talent, but he'll be a man to watch for throughout the entire 2015 season. If things don't pan out, expect to see him hit free agency next offseason.
Devin Hester, wide receiver
Everyone loves watching Hester return punts, but there's plenty of reason to believe that he may not be with the Atlanta Falcons beyond 2015. While Hester's cap number next season is $3,833,334, the kicker is that his dead money is projected to be $833,334. This means that if the Falcons choose to part ways with the almost 33-year-old, that they would gain $3 million in cap space.
The real problem is that the team not only signed Leonard Hankerson in free agency, but also drafted wide receiver Justin Hardy. As Andrew Hirsh of AtlantaFalcons.com explains, Hankerson has been impressing so far in training camp.
If Hankerson continues to rise and Hardy continues to show the upside that he has to this point, then 2015 may be Hester's last season in Atlanta.
Paul Soliai, defensive tackle
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That's not mind-blowing money by any means, but Soliai took a step back in 2014. Compared to 2013, his combined tackles went down from 34 to 29, his pass deflections went from five to zero and his forced fumbles from one to zero.
The former Miami Dolphin has spent just one season in Atlanta, but if he can't become a playmaker in 2015 for this defense, he may not make it past year two.
Jacob Tamme, tight end
If Tamme wins the battle at tight end and proves he can produce at a high level for Atlanta in 2015, then this will be completely ignored. If not? Then the Falcons will likely address tight end next offseason and will let Tamme go.
The decision to sign Tamme was essentially a low-risk, high-reward deal. Not only is Tamme's cap number next season only $1.8 million, but if they choose to part ways with him, then the team is only looking at $200k in dead money.
Receiving a cap gain of $1.6 million and looking for the answer at tight end once again is really not the end of the world. Who knows, maybe Levine Toilolo will finally step up, or Tony Moeaki will prove to be a sleeper this season.
Adrian Clayborn, defensive end
To put it as simply as possible, the Falcons are taking a shot on Clayborn. There's very little risk, but he has the potential to do something huge. Clayborn got a one-year deal worth $1 million, with a $312,500 roster bonus this offseason.
Atlanta chose to give Clayborn the "prove it" deal, with the hopes that he's able to return back to the player we saw in 2013, who tallied 64 total tackles and 5.5 sacks. If not, Clayborn will be back on the free agency market next offseason and the Falcons won't truly have lost all that much.
*All salary cap information courtesy of OverTheCap.com.
Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports