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Taylor Gabriel “grateful” Falcons wanted him, but free agency is “a business”

Josh Alper

The last time wide receiver Taylor Gabriel changed teams, he didn’t have a say in where he wound up.

That worked out pretty well for him. Gabriel was claimed by the Falcons in September 2016 after being cut by the Browns and went on to score seven touchdowns on 39 offensive touches during the regular season. He showed more splash play ability with nine catches for 171 yards during a playoff run that ended with an overtime Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.

Gabriel is appreciative of the chance that he got with the Falcons, but he’s now headed for free agency and knows that it may be time to move on once again.

“I love the Falcons but, like I always say, it’s a business, man,” Gabriel said, via ESPN.com. “You never know what’s going on upstairs and things like that. But I love the Falcons. I’m very grateful for the opportunity that they gave me. Going to a Super Bowl with those guys in that locker room, the brotherhood and being a part of that, that’s a blessing, man. That’s why I said I want to be a Falcon forever. That’s something special. That’s something that you don’t get going from team to team. And that’s a brotherhood that I’ll forever, forever remember if I’m with them or if I’m not with them.”

Gabriel’s production took the same turn as the rest of the Falcons offense in 2017. He dropped to one touchdown on 41 touches and saw his average gain per catch drop by five yards as Atlanta came back to Earth under new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Memories of the impact he had in 2016 will likely spur interest on the open market, although the streaky nature of Gabriel’s overall NFL career will probably keep anyone from breaking the bank for his services.