Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ATL_Predator

State of the Franchise: Atlanta Falcons

Recommended Posts

Falcons released CB Asante Samuel.

The writing was on the wall for this one. Samuel turned 33 years old last month and had been relegated to backup duties at the end of the season so the Falcons could get looks at youngsters CBs Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. The move clears over $4 million in 2014 cap space. Samuel is a four-time Pro Bowler, but his best days are obviously behind him. Pro Football Focus graded Samuel out as its No. 57 corner out of 110 qualifiers in 2013.
Related: Falcons
Feb 5 - 2:46 PM

 

 

 

He played fairly well for us...when he was healthy. He missed quite a few games over the past few seasons and age was clearly getting to him. He was a bargain from the Eagles with a 7th RD pick, but ultimately the trio that was to be is gone.

 

Grimes, Samuel, Robinson

 

It's a new era for CB's in Atlanta with Trufant and Alford. We're clearing cap space and turning the page at all positions..whether it's coaches, players, Front Office. So far this off-season is going in the right direction.

 

Also...

 

Falcons released OLB Stephen Nicholas.

Nicholas, 31 in May, started 17 games -- including the playoffs -- at strong-side linebacker in 2012 but had been relegated to backup and special teams duties this past season. He notched just 35 tackles and one sack in 14 games. The Falcons save $2 million against the 2014 salary cap with the release of Nicholas. Joplo Bartu played mostly well as Atlanta's strong-side 'backer in 2013.
Related: Falcons

 

 

 

Getting younger and cheaper. Defense looks to be going in full overhaul mode.

Edited by ATL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was definitely predicted. Look for several others to be gone soon to make cap room. Stephen Nicholas from my understanding is also already gone as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was definitely predicted. Look for several others to be gone soon to make cap room. Stephen Nicholas from my understanding is also already gone as well.

 

Already one step ahead of the game :biggrin:

 

What would you like to see us do this off-season, south?

Edited by ATL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly how I would do it because I will NOT pretend that I am anywhere nearly as versed in football talent evaluation as I am for baseball (years playing --often with guys that played in the majors, watching thousands of games at several levels, and speaking with dozens of pro scouts and experts in person including watching quite a number of games YEARS ago with Jim Callis among others).

 

I will say that my first priority would be improving the offensive line in some way. Immediately followed up by the d-line and pass rush. I am not sure how best to do these tasks (free agency, trade or draft). I will say that I expect Trueblood, Reynolds, Coffman, and DeCoud all to DEFINITELY be gone. I also wouldn't be surprised if Jacquizz is gone as well based on some info that I saw saying his play time generated a lot of incentives that will make his salary more expensive. I will readily admit though that I am not sure whether it was now guaranteed money or not. With the salary cap situation as it is in the NFL teams have to make hard decisions on how to get the most bang for their budget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly how I would do it because I will NOT pretend that I am anywhere nearly as versed in football talent evaluation as I am for baseball (years playing --often with guys that played in the majors, watching thousands of games at several levels, and speaking with dozens of pro scouts and experts in person including watching quite a number of games YEARS ago with Jim Callis among others).

 

I will say that my first priority would be improving the offensive line in some way. Immediately followed up by the d-line and pass rush. I am not sure how best to do these tasks (free agency, trade or draft). I will say that I expect Trueblood, Reynolds, Coffman, and DeCoud all to DEFINITELY be gone. I also wouldn't be surprised if Jacquizz is gone as well based on some info that I saw saying his play time generated a lot of incentives that will make his salary more expensive. I will readily admit though that I am not sure whether it was now guaranteed money or not. With the salary cap situation as it is in the NFL teams have to make hard decisions on how to get the most bang for their budget.

Yeah, I agree with you. All those names need to be gone.

 

Here's an article I saw on Quizz to help explain it.

 

Rodgers' cap number grows with pay bump RECOMMEND
Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers was supposed to count $692,750 against the 2014 salary cap. Now, his cap number has grown to $1,436,750.

 

 

Rodgers was one of a handful of players from the 2011 draft class who were awarded with the Proven Performance Escalator, according to the NFLPA records. Players qualify for this increase in Year 4 of their contracts if they participate in a minimum of 35 percent of their club’s offensive or defensive plays in two of his first three regular seasons or a cumulative average of at least 35 percent of the plays over all three seasons.

 

Rodgers, a former fifth-round pick from Oregon State, saw his base salary grow from $645,000 to $1.389 million. The cap number factors in prorated signing bonus.

 

Now, the Falcons are one of seven teams with three running backs with cap numbers exceeding $1 million in ’14 with Rodgers, Steven Jackson ($4,166,666) and Jason Snelling ($1,733, 334). But remember, Rodgers' value extends beyond what he does in the backfield. He is the team’s kick returner and compiled a team-leading 1,248 all-purpose yards this past season.

 

The Falcons’ cap situation is sure to fluctuate from now until the start of the new league year (March 11) based on cuts, extensions, and possible re-signings and restructurings. Players typically don’t get released until after the Super Bowl and there is no immediate rush for teams to re-sign their own free agents.

 

 

It's interesting, but I do believe it played a factor in how much we didn't play him this year.

 

Our trenches definitely need to get bigger and badder that's for sure. I'm pretty much all for Clowney, or the Auburn Tackle Robinson at our spot in the draft...if neither are they I think we should trade back IMO. The cap room is there as well to get some FA's. Should be an interesting off-season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great moves by our front office at this point. I think what we have in Alford is special, same goes for Trufant. Alford was real raw coming out,but the guy is an absolute athlete, he can do it all. With a little bit of coaching, we're going to have one hell of a group of corners.

 

Sucks to see Samuel go, I loved seeing his aggressive attitude on and off the field, but it's better to make cap room now as opposed to have him playing the nickel and making all that money. It' was pretty obvious that Alford was the heir .

 

Nicholas was just a train wreck. There were times he would play really great football a couple years ago, but he was never consistent. We saw him absolutely hit the floor this past season and lose his job to not one, but two undrafted free agents. Glad to see him go.

 

I don't really think I'm going out on a limb by saying we should be seeing more moves this coming week. I expect Reynolds to get the axe as well.

 

 

 

Our trenches definitely need to get bigger and badder that's for sure. I'm pretty much all for Clowney, or the Auburn Tackle Robinson at our spot in the draft...if neither are they I think we should trade back IMO. The cap room is there as well to get some FA's. Should be an interesting off-season.

 

I was so against us going Clowney with our first. I'm not worried about the guys talent, just the concern of his motor really bothers me. I know that sounds generic, but I just want to make sure we draft a guy who not only wants to be a Falcon, but also has the motor to be on the field every down as a starter. I've actually worked myself into the minority as a Falcon fan who doesn't want us to go offensive line, there's just no one there at #6 for the o-line that warrants that high of a pick in my opinion. Now, if we were to trade back then that's a different story for sure.

 

If it ends up turning out that both Barr and Clowney drop to us, who would you want?

Edited by Rain Man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it came down to Barr or Clowney I'd have to go with Clowney for sure. I think he has as much potential as any other defensive player in the last few years. I also think Barr is a little undersized for playing the same role in the NFL BUT it is entirely possible his speed and quickness translates into success. My big concern with Clowney is when it all comes down to it if he will be a team first guy through tough times or is he gonna be a prima donna. I like confidence don't get wrong but he is already saying publicly that he should definitely be the number one pick. I guess I just like humility combined with results on the field better than making a loud noise with the press.

 

I definitely do NOT want the Falcons to trade up to get anyone. As they are right now I would take either Robinson (who i think has more upside) or Matthews (who imho is more a safe pick and is definitely more technique polished). I wouldn't mind if the Falcons actually trade down a few slots if they could still nab one of these two guys and perhaps gain an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder (haven't looked at a chart lately to know exactly the values of trading picks).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's Jake Matthews (that bloodline alone speaks for itself) and Greg Robinson out of Auburn, who is NFL ready..and just might have more potential than Matthews.. are both elite tackles in this draft.



I would love to see Atlanta bring either of those two in at 6.



Ultimately...if it's a choice between Barr and Clowney...I prefer Clowney. Clowney has played far tougher competition in the SEC, and has made a name for himself in a defensive ladened conference that produces very quality o-lineman.



Barr is relentless and very quick, but his size scares me off. He needs to put on some pounds...without losing his quickness, which is easier said than done.



As of right now...before FA this is my wish list



1. Clowney


2. Matthews


3. Robinson


4. Trade back


5. Barr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcons RE Osi Umenyiora wants to be back with the team in 2014 and believes he will return.

"I would love to stay, and I think I am," Umenyiora said. "But you really never know what's going to happen." Umenyiora led the Falcons with 7.5 sacks last season but is clearly in his decline phase. Atlanta could save $3.5 million against the cap by releasing him. However, the Falcons are in dire need of pass rushers and can't afford to part with their best one at the moment.

 

Per Rotoworld.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff says he is not counting on Tony Gonzalez playing in 2014.

Gonzalez recently suggested he'd be open to a late-season return on a contender. "I believe Tony Gonzalez has retired and he’ll have a fantastic career in the media business," Dimitroff said. Dimitroff didn't rule out the possibility of welcoming back Gonzalez at a later time. The Falcons signed Gonzo to a two-year, $14 million deal last March and control his rights for 2014.

Per RotoWorld.com

 

Good to see Mr. Dimitroff acknowledging and not panicking over the fact that TonyG is not coming back for us. It's better for us to move on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good. I like Gonzalez, but I don't want to see him return to the team.

 

 

On another note, I know we have Steven Jackson, but he's a huge question mark at this point. I think we could have worked our way right back into what we had when Turner started to go down hill to begin with. I'd really to think otherwise, but Jackson was practically made of glass last season. Thus the reason I'd love for us to sign Moreno in free agency. I'd love for it to happen, yet I know that it's probably not at all realistic at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see us trade S-Jax..but with his contract..and injury issues. I highly doubt that would happen. Moreno is an interesting back..but I don't want to see us spending money on someone that had one good year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see us trade S-Jax..but with his contract..and injury issues. I highly doubt that would happen. Moreno is an interesting back..but I don't want to see us spending money on someone that had one good year.

 

He's always had the skillset to be good in the NFL. The problem has been his durability, much like what we've seen from Darren McFadden since entering the league, he was able to stay healthy and produce this past season.

 

I won't be upset if we just roll with what we have on offense, but Moreno would make me real excited. I'm just sick of having running backs that are on the wrong side of 30, vastly under-sized, or just so one dimensional that they make no impact on the game. Then again, skill players can't be our priority either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites





Falcons released RG Garrett Reynolds.



The move creates roughly $1.39 million in real savings, and $965,000 in cap space. Re-signed to a two-year, $2.613 million deal last March, Reynolds played 696 uneven snaps, struggling as a run blocker. He started 10 games before being benched in Week 12. Reynolds has made 42 career appearances, all with the Falcons. He'll likely be limited to minimum offers in the second wave of free agency, though he's now free to sign with any team.





We are cleaning house..can't wait for DeCoud to hit the road next. The axe is a wonderful thing. :yep:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This move was pretty much expected. I think I mentioned it earlier on. Really, Reynolds never should have been playing guard for us. He performed way better at right tackle his first two seasons with the team. Not sure why we didn't bump him out there last season, especially with all our issues at right tackle, then again we would still have no viable right guard lol

 

 

Decoud has to be packing his bags. He's next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clowney wants Falcons to trade up for him
Posted by Mike Florio on February 23, 2014, 1:50 PM EST
clowney.jpg?w=250Getty Images

Former South Carolina defensive endJadeveon Clowney wanted to enter the draft in 2013. Now that he’s eligible, he wants one specific team to draft him.

I wish [the Falcons] could trade up for me,” Clowney told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Clowney prefers a trade up, because he doesn’t want to be passed over five times.

“I hope I don’t fall to No. 6. I like Atlanta — a lot,” Clowney said. “They’re pretty good. They’ve got some guys from South Carolina on the team, also. And it’s close to home.”

Four of the top five teams in the draft (Texans, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders) desperately need quarterbacks. The other one (the Rams) doesn’t need another pass rusher.

During a Friday interview with Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff made it clear that the team that traded up to No. 6 three years ago to get Julio Jones could move up from No. 6 this year.

While it could make sense for the Texans to make that move in order to stockpile some picks, dropping behind the Jaguars, Browns, and Raiders could make it hard to get the quarterback the Texans would take at No. 1. A move to No. 2 is more likely, given that Rams G.M. Les Snead and Dimitroff have a strong working relationship.

For both teams, the precedent set two years ago when the Redskins moved from No. 6 to No. 2 in a trade with the Rams could be a problem. In 2012, St. Louis wrangled the sixth overall selection, two first-round picks (including the pick that became No. 2 in 2014), and a second-rounder.

While some would say that Washington was justified in giving up that much because Robert Griffin III is a very special player, the same could be said of Clowney. Several months ago, one veteran scout with a team not picking in the top 10 remarked that Clowney is the best prospect he’s ever seen.

 

:think:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff is "open for business" with the No. 6 overall pick.

"Look, like I’ve said, I’ve been very clear about this, we will always be open for business," Dimitroff said Monday. "We will always be open to move up and back, depends on what’s right for us. ... I feel really comfortable with where we are at six, but there are opportunities on both sides of six." Dimitroff's comments come the same day ESPN St. Louis labeled the Falcons the Rams' "most logical trade partner" at No. 2. Dimitroff has never been shy on draft weekend.
Related: Falcons
Feb 24 - 4:57 PM

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we trade up ill be pissed. Were in position to get a real great player at 6 no matter how it shakes down in the top 5. Losing picks later would hurt us no matter how good Clowney has te potential to be.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBH I have SERIOUS reservations about Clowney...He could be fantastic or he could be a serious bust in terms of his slot selection. Just because he is a physical specimen doesn't necessarily translate into being a great nfl pass rusher or team player. If Clowney couldn't be trusted with little in college how can you trust him with much in the NFL? I could be wrong but I don't recall any players who had their work ethic questioned mightly from college than then suddenly became hard workers and self motivated once they got to the NFL. IF and I mean IF the Falcons address some of their O-line concerns with free agency then I would not be opposed to drafting a defensive player with the 6 slot...most likely in my opinion to be Mack. I absolutely do NOT want the Falcons trading up to get Clowney!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So both of you are for Mack at 6? :think:

Only if the offensive line is addressed during free agency. If it isn't then I say take Robinson if he is still available or Jake Matthews and then concentrate on maybe Ford as an option for D. But yes I have gotten to where I prefer Mack at 6 instead of Clowney.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So both of you are for Mack at 6? :think:

 

You know, it's something I've thought about quite a bit. I say yes. Mack is easily the best linebacker in the draft I think. He's a much better pass rusher than Anthony Barr, at least in my opinion. Early on I was really leaning toward wanting Barr with our first pick if we go defense there, then I was turned to Mack when one of my buddies pointed out that he would be there at 6 probably. Ever since then and since watching some video of him and everything, I realize he's an absolute stud.

 

You don't only have to think about his pass rushing skills either. He's not the best coverage linebacker, but he can definitely play zone coverage. He's got the speed and quickness to stay on some of the bigger receiving tight ends as well. I'm just impressed with his game all around. I'm not trying to say he's going to be as good as Von Miller, but the star potential is there. He's just a great all around player. If he's there at 6 and we skip over him for another defensive player, I'll be sorely upset about it.

 

Now if we go offense with our first, I definitely don't think we'll take a skill player. That's a given. If Greg Robinson is sitting there at 6, he's my guy. I want him so bad. He's not really a dirty player, but he plays mean. That's something that we've been missing on the offensive line since Harvey Dahl left for St. Louis. We need a big brawler type offensive lineman. Some places he could definitely use some work, but he's one hell of a lineman.

 

 

 

Also, Clowney really turned me off when he performed at the combine. Great 40 time, but man, that bench press was horrible. So was his broad jump. I don't know, maybe I'm putting more stock into the combine than I should but the bench is a concern. If he hasn't got the top end strength, the better tackles in the league may just man handle him at the point of attack. Also an analyst hit on the fact that may have just been a showing of his motor. Perhaps he could have done more and he just didn't have the drive to keep going. He's a good prospect, something just isn't right about him. I'm not saying he'll bust, but he's definitely not my #1 choice.

Edited by Rain Man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Free Agency is about to be in FULL swing soon. Here's a list of guys, in order, that I'd love for the Falcons to sign. (Obviously I'm not wanting them all, but just the guys I think are interesting)

 

Also, before we begin, I'm a huge believer in the bargain bin players and getting the most for our money.

 

 

S TJ Ward - A lot of people are riding the Jarius Byrd train right now, while I personally would like us to spend slightly (very slightly) less on Ward. Besides, I think it's more likely the Bills franchise tag Byrd at this point than the Browns tag Ward. The only downfall for our Falcons on Ward is that he's proven to play better in Hortons 3-4 defense than he had in the 4-3. I believe though that has to do more with coaching than the scheme itself. With Thomas Decoud likely to be released soon, we desperately need to get a safety in to fill the void.

 

OT Anthony Collins - Three words with this one, swiss army knife. Anthony Collins has been playing at a high level, and the guy can do it nearly anywhere on the offensive line. What's better than being able to do it? The fact that he is actually willing to it, not many players come like that. Collins would help anchor our offensive line and allow us to mix and match where our weaknesses are in the event of any injuries. This also allows us to perhaps go either way in the draft if we want to stick to the offensive line with the 6th pick (G or T).

 

DE Michael Johnson - A young stud defensive end would be just what the defensive doctor ordered. It's no secret we've struggled to get a pass rush and that having a guy that can get to the QB opposite of Osi would help our young cornerbacks out quite a bit. Johnson won't be cheap though. Another point to be made is Kroy Biermann. He's coming back this season off of injury, I'm a believer that while he's a solid pass rusher, he's only situational at best. Kroy may also be candidate for release because of his salary.

 

DT Paul Soliai - Is he the best DT out there? No. But I think we may be able to get him for a slightly discounted price. I think that regardless of who it is, we're only bring back either Babineaux or Peters, definitely not both of them. We're going to need someone that can play opposite of whoever it is. Soliai will help anchor a terrible run defense. We sorely need a tackle that can get penetration up the middle.

 

OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar - While Sean Weatherspoon is a bright spot (when healthy), we could definitely use some help on the other side. With Stephen Nicholas seeing his walking papers earlier in the month, Dunbar would be a huge upgrade. He was suspended for 4 games last season for violating NFL drug policies though. He can play the run exceptionally and while he's not the best in coverage, he certainly better than Nicholas who we suffered with for years.

 

S Louis Delmas - If we don't get Jairus Byrd or TJ Ward, Louis Delmas would be a guy I'd be interested in. He's certainly had some major injury concerns, but he's great when he's healthy. He did play in all 16 games last season, certainly a step in the right direction. Delmas is a bargain bin player at this point, huge upside with a bit of risk. Another buyers point for Delmas is the fact that he's leader on the field, he had a problem with a team mate last year but it's tough to find the blame on a poorly disciplined Lions team. The only question here would be if either he or William Moore could slide over to play the free safety position.

 

HB Knowshon Moreno - Knowshon is definitely a lot higher on my mental list than he is here, mostly because of the realistic possibilities being so low of Moreno getting to Atlanta. I would love a Moreno signing more than anything right now. I don't think that Jacquizz Rodgers is a solution to the running back situation in the long run and even though we have Jackson toting the rock right now, the fact that he was seemingly made of glass last season doesn't instill confidence in me. His mileage also doesn't help. Moreno would give us somewhat of a "poor mans" Steven Jackson (when jackson was in his prime). Last season with the Broncos he finally played up to his potential that everyone coined him coming out of college. Say what you will about it being the scheme, or Manning, he was fantastic both between the tackles and out. He showed potential of elite vision that runningbacks need to get to the second level. This is nothing more than a pipe dream right now.

 

 

 

Other players: OT Eric Winston, DT Fred Evans, C Ryan Cook

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could have sworn somewhere I read an article about comparing Mack to Clowney....but all I could find right now was about Mack and Barr in ajc

 

http://atlantafalcons.blog.ajc.com/2014/02/25/falcons-draft-board-khalil-mack-vs-anthony-barr/

 

 

 

this isn't really a comparison....just a comment:

 

http://sports-kings.com/nysportskings/mike-mayock-says-take-khalil-mack-first-pick/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said it still bothers him that Atlanta's offensive linemen didn't go after Saints S Kenny Vaccaro when he laid a questionable hit on Matt Ryan in Week 1.

The Falcons have made it a priority to get tougher up front. They inked RG Jon Asamoah, a nasty run blocker with a mean streak, and re-signed C Joe Hawley, who gave the unit a backbone when he was inserted into the starting lineup. Atlanta could get even more ferocious by drafting Auburn OT Greg Robinson.

 

 

I think our offensive line is really gonna pick up the slack next season. I like the fact we re-signed Hawley. Not great, but def gets the job done.

 

If Sam Baker gets his life together...I think our offensive line can do big things next year...esp. if we add Robinson or Matthews and someone in the later rounds.

 

I honestly believe we should bring in CJ at the right price. S-Jax can't do it alone..and while I expect Quizz to be used more. The retirement of Snelling hurts greatly in the passing dept. CJ would be a nice addition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Chatbox

    Load More
    You don't have permission to chat.
×