2014 Falcons Free Agent Tracker

April 20th, 2014 No comments

Keeping track of all the latest on the Atlanta Falcons free agent activity, interest, signings and cuts. You can view all of the Falcons free agents here.


CB Josh Wilson, Redskins (Story) (signed 4/8, 1 yr./$920,000)
S Dwight Lowery, Jaguars (Story) (signed 4/8, 1 yr./$760,000)
WR/KR Devin Hester, Bears (Story) (signed 3/20, 3 yrs./$9 million)
CB/KR Javier Arenas, Cardinals (Story) (signed 3/18, 1 yr.)
OG Jon Asamoah, ex-Chiefs (Story) (signed 3/11, 4 yrs./$22.5 million)
DE Tyson Jackson, ex-Chiefs (Story) (signed 3/11, 5 yrs./$25 million)
DT Paul Soliai, ex-Dolphins (Story) (signed 3/11, 5 yrs./$33 million)
OT Gabe Carimi (Story) (signed 2/17, 1 yr.)

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2014 Schedule

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

2014 Atlanta Falcons Schedule

Week Date Opponent Time* Result Score Notes
1 Aug. 8 Miami 7:00 pm
2 Aug. 16 at Houston 8:00 pm
3 Aug. 23 Tennessee 7:00 pm
4 Aug. 28 at Jacksonville 6:00 pm
Regular Season
Week Date Opponent Time Result Score Notes
1 Sep. 7 New Orleans 1:00 pm
2 Sep. 14 at Cincinnati 1:00 pm
3 Sep. 18 Tampa Bay 8:25 pm
4 Sep. 28 at Minnesota 4:25 pm
5 Oct. 5 at N.Y. Giants 1:00 pm
6 Oct. 12 Chicago 1:00 pm
7 Oct. 19 at Baltimore 1:00 pm
8 Oct. 26 Detroit 9:30 am
9 Nov. 2 bye
10 Nov. 9 at Tampa Bay 1:00 pm
11 Nov. 16 at Carolina 1:00 pm
12 Nov. 23 Cleveland 1:00 pm
13 Nov. 30 Arizona 4:05 pm
14 Dec. 8 at Green Bay 8:00 pm
15 Dec. 14 Pittsburgh 1:00 pm
16 Dec. 21 at New Orleans 1:00 pm
17 Dec. 28 Carolina 1:00 pm


* All times are Eastern and Stats are provided by NFL.com‘s Gamebooks, which are in PDF format. You can find a PDF reader here.

Click here to see the results of the Falcons 2013 Season.

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2014 Schedule Announced; Falcons Open vs. Saints At Home

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

The Atlanta Falcons 2014 regular season schedule was announced tonight. The team’s 13 opponents have been known since the end of the regular season, but the order in which they will face the Falcons was unknown until tonight.

One game had been previously announced as the Falcons would face the Detroit Lions in Week 8 in London, England. That game will be considered one of the Falcons’ eight home games, and will be played on Sunday, October 6 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.

The Falcons open the 2014 regular season at home against NFC South division rival, the New Orleans Saints on September 7. The team opened this past season on the road against the Saints, and will have a chance to avenge a close loss.

Their first road game comes the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals. They return home on a short week to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Thursday Night Football, which will be simulcast on NFL Network and CBS in their first primetime appearance. It marks the team’s sixth consecutive home game on Thursday night.

The Falcons then catch a few extra days’ rest before traveling to take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4. They continue their road trip to start the second quarter of the season against the New York Giants. The team returns home in Week 6 to face the Chicago Bears before going back on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.

That is followed up by the “home” game against the Lions in London. After which, the team receives a bye week before returning to action in Week 10 on the road against the Buccaneers. Their first action of the year against the Carolina Panthers comes the following week on the road.

Week 12 begins a two-game home stint where they host the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. That is followed by their second primetime action against the Green Bay Packers on the road in Week 14 to be played Monday, December 8 on ESPN.

They return home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15, followed by a road game against the Saints. They close out the regular season at home against the Panthers on December 28.

News of schedule’s release also came with a new stipulation about flex scheduling. Games can be flexed into primetime on Sunday night as early as Week 5 beginning this season. The league won’t be allowed to flex a game every week as they have a cap of up to two games over the six-week span from Week 5 to Week 10. Thereafter, starting in Week 11, the normal flex rules apply in which the league can flex any Sunday game into primetime if given 12 days notice. Thursday, Saturday, and Monday games are not eligible to be flexed.

There also will be a new “cross flex” procedure in which games can be flexed between networks of CBS and FOX. It will mean that to better balance out broadcasts, it will be possible that two NFC opponents could be aired on CBS and vice-versa for AFC opponents on FOX.


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More Prospects Visit Falcons

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

It’s a pretty busy week for the Atlanta Falcons as their offseason program begins amid the team hosting several of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft this week. Earlier this week we reported on several scheduled visits for the team over the course of this week. But apparently those reports were far from comprehensive.

Yesterday, Central Florida running back Storm Johnson was in town visiting alongside three other prospects. It was already known that UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr would be visiting the team on Tuesday, but Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Louisville safety Calvin Pryor were two more that were in the Falcons facilities along with Johnson.

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Four Rounds – April 22, 2014

April 22nd, 2014 No comments
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr

I have a confession to make, I have done a poor job keeping up to date with the mock drafts for the muncher. Basically I got really busy at the end of February and planned to catch up and post an update in March. But I procrastinated and I will try to get another update up before the actual draft. There are a lot of mock updates that I will have missed over the past seven or eight weeks, so it won’t be as thorough as usual. So I apologize for that.

But I guess that’s not stopping me from providing you with my own mock draft if I’m not keeping up to date with others.

Over the weekend, I worked on a little two-round mock based off some of the thoughts I had in this week’s most recent takeaways column. But I decided to expand it to a full four rounds rather than just two. I won’t include trades in this mock, but perhaps this weekend I’ll post a mock that does have trades factored in.

1. Houston Texans – DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina*
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) – OT Greg Robinson, Auburn*
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
4. Cleveland Browns – OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
5. Oakland Raiders – WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson*
6. Atlanta Falcons – OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M*
8. Minnesota Vikings – QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida*
9. Buffalo Bills – TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
10. Detroit Lions – OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
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Falcons Line Up Draft Visits This Week

April 21st, 2014 No comments

As reported yesterday, the Atlanta Falcons are set to have a busy week where they will have a large number of 2014 draft prospects in and out of team facilities to conduct visits.

Previous reports indicated that outside linebackers Anthony Barr (UCLA) and Khalil Mack (Buffalo), defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) and Dee Ford (Auburn), wide receiver Jarvis Landry (LSU), offensive tackles Jake Matthews (Texas A&M) and Greg Robinson (Auburn) and running back Terrance West (Towson) are scheduled to visit the team.

One more name can be added to that list, as Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert tweeted this morning that he will making a visit to Atlanta later in the week.

Some of the dates are known for when several of the prospects will visit the team. Ford will be the first to arrive today and stay through tomorrow. He will be joined by his Auburn teammate Robinson and Barr on Tuesday. On Wednesday Clowney, Mack and West will work out for the team. Exact dates for Matthews and Landry’s visits are not known yet. It’s very likely that Gilbert’s visit won’t be until the end of the week.

There is other news involving these prospects, as Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that a notable contingent of the Falcons’ top brass were in the Baltimore area on Sunday to conduct a private workout of West at Towson University. Per Wilson, head coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, assistant GM Scott Pioli, and player personnel director Lionel Vital were all on hand to see West.

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Takeaways from Last Week – April 21, 2014

April 21st, 2014 2 comments
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Mack could be a trade target for Falcons

As indicated last week, looming questions surround the Atlanta Falcons and their potential to make a trade in this year’s draft. Most of those questions center around the team’s rumored desire to move up at the top of the first round. But there is also a good possibility that the Falcons decide to maneuver later in the draft.

The Falcons currently hold the sixth and 37th overall picks in the first two rounds of the draft. Frankly, I would be very surprised if we’re looking back on the first two days of the draft come May 10 and see that they retained both of those picks. It seems probable that the Falcons could move out of one or both spots.

First, let’s once again discuss the Falcons draft-day trade scenarios with the former pick in the first round.

The Falcons need a pass-rusher to try improve the league’s worst third-down defense and marginally better pass rush. It would be ludicrous to think the team does not believe that the most pressing need is adding someone that can line up at either outside linebacker or defensive end and put heat on the quarterback.

Much of the speculation centers on the team’s possible desire to move up for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. And I think those rumors have legs. Clowney is clearly the best pass-rusher in this class and from a historical standpoint, matches up with anybody that has come out over the past decade or more. That is an intriguing option for the Falcons, and one that will require careful consideration when we get to the opening night of the draft on May 8.

But the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to believe that trading up for Clowney is unlikely. It’s a definite possibility, but in the end I think it’s going to come down to price tag. If the Falcons can jump up from the sixth overall selection into the top 3 picks of the draft without giving up an arm and a leg, then it’s worthwhile. Last week, I outlined a trade that had the Falcons giving up this year’s first, second and fourth-round picks, along with possibly a second-round pick next year to move up to get Clowney. Whether that meets the definition of an “arm and leg” is up for interpretation, but it’s certainly at least an arm.

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FalcFans Weekly – April 20, 2014

April 20th, 2014 No comments

On this fine Easter Sunday, let’s recap some of the news and stories surrounding the Atlanta Falcons over the past week:

The subject of fifth-year options for 2011 first-round picks became a popular subject this week. The Falcons have yet to exercise their option on wide receiver Julio Jones, and have until May 3 to do so.

The fifth-year option will be equivalent to the top 10 salaries for his position group in 2015, which according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure will give Jones a salary of $10.176 million next year. That money will be guaranteed, but for injury only.

It is very likely that the Falcons will exercise that option. The only reason not to is because they want to sign Jones to an extension before the start of the 2014 regular season. That certainly is a possibility, but unless progress on talks are pretty far along, it really doesn’t hurt the team to still exercise the option in the meantime.

Jones has a cap hit of roughly $5.15 million in 2014, which means that if the option is exercised, he will make around $15.3 million over the next two years, with roughly-two thirds of it guaranteed.

Comparatively, Mike Wallace signed a five-year contract worth $60 million last offseason, with a $27 million payout in his first two seasons, all of which was guaranteed (according to Spotrac.com). It’s certainly possible that Jones could receive substantially more money in his eventual extension from the Falcons. Through the first five games of the 2013 season before his season-ending foot injury, Jones was leading the league in receptions (41) and second in yards (580) behind only tight end Jimmy Graham (593).

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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 4/20

April 20th, 2014 No comments

This past week was a big one for the Falcons as they conducted their local pro day where draft prospects from Georgia high schools and colleges got a chance to showcase their stuff in front of the team on Tuesday, April 15.

We originally reported a number of players that were expected to show up, but in the days since there have been more reports about the prospects that were available. Georgia State sent three prospects, the previously reported defensive linemen along with offensive lineman Ulrick John. Clemson cornerback Darius Robinson was another player that himself tweeted he was there. Shane DePasquale of NFL Draft Diamonds reports that Southern Illinois linebacker Bryan Presume was among the prospects.

A pair of Valdosta State wide receivers in Regginald Lewis and Seantavius Jones were reportedly there to work out.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that other players were there including:

  • Running Back Ryan Boykin, Ohio
  • Outside linebacker Clifton Crews, South Alabama
  • Wide receiver Ryan Culbreath, Furman
  • Safety Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt
  • Safety Kimario McFadden, South Carolina State
  • Tight End Evan Wilson, Illinois
  • Safety Greg Worthy, Furman

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What if Falcons Focused on Offense in 2014 Draft?

April 17th, 2014 1 comment

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Robinson (73) and Tre Mason could form the cornerstones of the Falcons 2014 draft class

What if the Atlanta Falcons decided to devote the bulk of their early-round 2014 NFL Draft picks to improving and solidifying the offense rather than the defense?

I should have prefaced that question by stating this is more of a thought exercise than any sort of formal proposal.

But one reason why the Falcons might decide to focus on offense because relative to the defense, it seems a lot closer to being elite.

The Falcons defense needs help at all three levels. While the pass rush is the most glaring issue on that side of the ball, the team also needs to shore up depth at several positions including linebacker and safety. And it’s not as if one pass-rusher is going fix the area, as any top-level pass rush has multiple playmakers that can consistently get pressure on the quarterback.

On offense the Falcons already made a big improvement to their offensive line by signing guard Jon Asamoah in free agency. They also added speedster Devin Hester to help at wide receiver and on special teams. But they could use more help.

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