Falcons Our own free agents
01-29-2012, 12:25 PM (This post was last modified: 01-30-2012 12:15 AM by Radical.)
Our own free agents
Ledbetter's most recent article is a prettty decent review of what is probably on the front burner for Dimitroff. Before TD can think about adding free agents from other teams, he needs to make some domestic decisions. To that end, I'd like to discuss who should be extended and who should be allowed to move. I'll include my opinions and I look forward to reading yours.
John Abraham, DE: After an early-season groin injury, the Falcons placed Abraham on a play-count for most of the season. They increased his number of plays late in the season and for the playoffs.
He had a base salary of $8 million and led the team with 9.5 sacks. He essentially was the team’s pass rush. If he returns, it likely will be at a reduced salary and as a designated pass-rush specialist.
I want to see Abe return as a pass rush specialist. His expired contract expected him to be a full time player. That has not been the case. In my opinion, he should be signed to a three year contract that reflects his likely playing time. To me, that contract would average $4million per year. Anything more does not represent a good value for this team. Whether Abe is willing to accept such a reduction remains to be seen.
Kroy Biermann, DE: He has been solid while playing in the rotation at defensive end. The Falcons will want to pay him as a rotational player. If he gets to the open market, some 3-4 teams may covet him as a stand-up linebacker because of his athleticism.
Bierman has been a mediocre player. He looked like a promising rookie, but has not panned out. Personally, I don't see him as a priority signing. Having said that, I would sign him to a modest contract and hope that his new found ties to Atlanta will keep him satisfied.
Kirk Chambers, OT: He likely will not be re-signed.
Thomas DeCoud, FS: He’s a strong candidate for an extension and may not hit the open market. The Falcons would like for him to take charge of the defense so that strong safety William Moore can be free to attack the ball and become a menacing force.
The much maligned Safety is a smart and athletic player. The potential is there. I think that the problem has been poor coaching and lousy DL. Keep DeCoud and let him work closely with Moore to establish a physical secondary.
Harry Douglas, WR: This one could get tricky because some teams may view Douglas as a No. 2 receiver. With the Falcons, he’s the No. 3 and will remain that as long as Roddy White can keep rolling along and Julio Jones keeps developing.
If he gets a lucrative offer, Douglas could leave for another team. Eric Weems would then be elevated to the No. 3 position. A wide receiver-starved team such as Cleveland or Jacksonville could swoop in and sign Douglas.
I want to keep Douglas, but I think that he will be a cap casualty. We have a lot invested in the WR position and I doubt we can afford to fit Douglas into the payroll.
Brent Grimes, CB: Grimes arguably has been the team’s best corner over the past two seasons.
He’ll point to the six-year, $57 million contract that the Falcons gave Dunta Robinson in March 2010. Robinson was 27 at the time. Grimes is set to turn 29 in July, so the team likely would want to do a four-year deal.
They could keep Grimes from the open market by using the franchise tag, which would guarantee him about $10.2 million for one season.
I don't think that there is any argument that Brent Grimes is our best CB. Having said that, I believe that TD will stick by his draft choices in the secondary and move to spend a greater share of the budget on a defensive line. Dunta Robinson was a major mistake and that mistake has its repercussions. Sorry to say, I think Grimes is going to move on.
Kelvin Hayden, CB: A serious turf-toe injury ended his season. He could be brought back at a reasonable price if healthy.
[b]Yeah, why not?[/b]
Reggie Kelly, TE: He likely won’t be re-signed. The Falcons like their young tight ends Michael Palmer and Ryan Winterswyk and probably will draft a tight end.
Curtis Lofton, MLB: Lofton’s camp probably will point to the four-year, $36-million deal that inside linebacker David Harris signed with the New York Jets in August.
While Lofton has played on third downs, the Falcons may consider him a first- and second-down linebacker. The Falcons were tied for 29th in the NFL on third-down conversions (93-of-211) last season.
Since being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft, Lofton has made more than 100 tackles in each of his four seasons.
Lofton must be kept. He is the leader of the defense and is a major factor in the run defense. He has improved his pass coverage and I don't see him as a detriment in that department. When we use 3-4 sets, his pass coverage responsibilities will lessen. Sign him.
Todd McClure, C: The veteran wants to return for at least two more seasons. He’ll have to compete to retain his starting spot, and the Falcons will have to consider how he would handle a reserve role if he gets beat out. McClure has been a mainstay on the line since making the team as a seventh-round draft pick in 1999.
The Mud Duck is one of our best pass blockers. He is also a mediocre run blocker. I am guessing that we bring him back at a reduced contract. Value is the issue.
Mike Peterson, LB: He ended the season on injured reserve. Before that he provided some quality depth and could return.
I don't think that Peterson returns, as a player. If I were him, I would consider singing on as a coach.
Chris Redman, QB: He wants to return, and the team likely will work out a reasonable deal.
At the right price, I would bring him back. What is the right price? I would say about 80% of his present deal.
Brett Romberg, C/G: He likely will not be re-signed.
He is a Boudreau guy. Fare well.
James Sanders, S: He was a solid backup and likely will return with a reasonable deal.
Again, why not?
Jason Snelling, RB: He will look for a deal elsewhere as his opportunities were reduced last season, and the team wants to get Jacquizz Rodgers more involved in the offense.
I think that Snelling is going to be returned. He performed well in his limitted role and is an excellent fit for our new offense. If he is re-signed, I think that Turner will be moved.
Eric Weems, WR: He’s a valuable special-teams player who could step up as the third receiver.
Joe Zelenka, LS: He likely will be re-signed.
Not expensive and is reliable. Keep him.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog
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Our own free agents - ggp - 01-29-2012 12:25 PM