5 Free Agent Sleepers for Atlanta
With the owners agreeing to the new CBA earlier today, it seems like the 2011 NFL season is right around the corner. That means that free agency is likely to start. Much discussion has been made about some potential moves the Falcons could make. Here are some players that are probably a bit under the radar in terms of the big name free agents, that could all work in Atlanta:
OG Adam Goldberg, Rams
Goldberg has started the past two seasons for the Rams, and has been primarily a utility player for them over the course of his 7-year NFL career. What could attract the Falcons to Goldberg is the fact that he spent two years under Paul Boudreau in St. Louis (2006-07) and could be a nice insurance policy in case the Falcons lose one or more of their own free agent linemen. Goldberg is probably a bit more natural as a guard than a tackle, but has the potential to fill in at both positions. As an insurance policy, Goldberg is a nice fit for the Falcons. Projected Market Value: $2 million/yr.
DE Stylez G. White, Buccaneers
While most expect the Falcons to try and pursue one of the top-tier free agent ends, perhaps the team is better served going after a player like White. White has been the Bucs top edge rusher over the past few seasons, and while his production hasn’t been astounding, he’s done a nice job with 24 sacks in four seasons. He would work best as a situational rusher off the bench, and certainly would be an upgrade to what the Falcons currently have in their rotation. White turns 32 next week, so he’s up there in age. But for a quick and dirty one or two-year fix for the Falcons pass rush, he might work. Proj. Market Value: $3 million/yr.
OLB Keith Bulluck, Giants
The Falcons will probably try and bring back at least one of their free agent linebackers, but they might be better off spurning both and signing a guy like Bulluck. Bulluck is no longer a spring chicken, but he’s a savvy veteran that unlike Mike Peterson contributes on passing downs. If it were to come down to Bulluck or Peterson, then Bulluck is the better option because of that ability to upgrade the nickel defense. He’s not a long-term solution given his age (34), but could be a nice short-term fix before the team turned the position over to Akeem Dent. Proj. Market Value: $2 million/yr.
CB Eric Wright, Browns
Wright is coming off a tough year in Cleveland, but he played much of the year hurt. He is a guy that definitely needs a change in scenery after a promising 2009 season. Because of a bad 2010, it’s unlikely he’ll get a lot of nibbles as a prospective starter, which should keep his price tag down. Wright has good size, defends the run well, and can play in the slot. As a nickel corner he can be a major upgrade if he can return to his level of play in 2009. Proj. Market Value: $4 million/yr.
S Jordan Babineaux, Seahawks
Shann Schillinger doesn’t appear likely to be 100% when camps hopefully open up in the coming weeks, which means that the Falcons could be looking for a veteran third safety to fill the mantle left behind by Erik Coleman. Who better than Babineaux? Like Coleman, Babineaux has experience playing either safety spot, and joining his older brother, Jonathan, certainly would be incentive enough to head to Atlanta. Proj. Market Value: $2.5 million/yr.