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Archive for February, 2008

Falcons re-sign Redman

February 29th, 2008 Comments off

Steve Wyche of the AJC reports that the Falcons have re-signed free agent passer Chris Redman. Wyche cites Redman’s agent Joby Branion, as the source of this news. Redman signed a two-year contract.

Redman started the final 4 games of the season for the Falcons. In 7 total appearances, he completed 59.7% of his 149 pass attempts for 1079 yards, 10 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 90.4. Redman joined the Falcons last spring after a three-year absence from the NFL.

UPDATE: NFL.com’s Adam Schefter reports that the deal with Redman is worth $5 million, including $3 million in potential escalators.

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Gay may visit Falcons

February 29th, 2008 Comments off

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that New England Patriots cornerback Randall Gay is drawing interest from several teams and may visit many of them. The Falcons are among a list that includes the Saints, Seahawks, Bucs, Lions, and Chiefs. According to the report, Gay may visit three of those teams, and is scheduled to meet with the Saints tomorrow.

Gay was originally an undrafted free agent for the Patriots in 2004 out of LSU, but has emerged as a top nickel back. He’s started 14 games in his four-year career, tallying 86 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 12 passes defended in that span. Gay may also return to the Patriots as he may be in line to succeed free agent Asante Samuel in the starting lineup. If signed by the Falcons, he could be insurance in case the team trades DeAngelo Hall.

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Falcons extend tenders to Boley and Davis

February 29th, 2008 Comments off

The AJC reports that the Falcons are expected to extend tender offers to linebacker Michael Boley and defensive end Chauncey Davis. Both players are restricted free agents. According to the report, Boley will receive a first round tender, which will give him a one-year salary of $2.017 million. Davis will receive a fourth round tender, with a one-year deal worth $927,000.

Restricted free agents are allowed to negotiate contracts with other teams, but the Falcons will retain the right of first refusal, which means they can match any offer submitted by another team. If the Falcons match the offer, the free agent is retained. If not, then they have the right to compensation which is determined by the level of the tender. If another team signs Boley, the Falcons will receive a first round pick, and for Davis, a fourth round pick. Davis’s compensation is based on the fact that he was originally a fourth round draft pick for the Falcons in 2005.

There is no official word on what level of tenders (if extended at all) to the Falcons two other restricted free agents: punter Michael Koenen and fullback Corey McIntyre. If the Falcons opt to not extend a restricted tender to either player, they will become unrestricted free agents and are free to sign with any team.

UPDATE: Atlanta Falcons.com indicates that the Falcons have placed a second round tender on Michael Koenen worth ($1.47 million) and the right of first refusal with Corey McIntyre ($927,000). Both Koenen and McIntyre were undrafted free agents. If a team signs McIntyre to an offer sheet, the Falcons will receive no compensation.

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Falcons among Stroud suitors

February 29th, 2008 Comments off

Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports that the Falcons are interested in Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. Stroud was given permission by the Jaguars earlier this week to seek a trade, but is not a free agent. Marvez reports that Stroud will be visiting the Buffalo Bills.

Stroud, a first round pick for the Jaguars in 2001, has three more years left on his contract with base salaries totalling $16.5 million. But due to injuries (he missed seven games this past year), a steroids-related suspension in 2006, and a decline in play the past few years the Jaguars are looking to move him. If he joins Atlanta, it would be a reunion between him and former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who is now the head coach of the Falcons.

Stroud made three consecutive Pro Bowl nods between 2003 and 2005. For his career, he has started 84 of 100 career games and recorded 22 career sacks. He had career highs of 6.5 sacks in 2002 and 65 tackles in 2003. In 2007, he started 9 games, recorded 22 tackles and 3 sacks.

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Falcons contact 2 free agents

February 29th, 2008 Comments off

John Clayton of ESPN.com reports that the Falcons have contacted two free agents in kicker Josh Brown (Seattle Seahawks) and running back Michael Turner (San Diego Chargers). According to Clayton, the Falcons hoped to lure Turner into Atlanta for a Friday visit. No word on if or when Brown could visit.

In five years in the NFL, Brown has made exactly 80% of his 145 carer field goals. He’s considered one of the premier kickers available on the market.

Turner has served as a backup in San Diego behind Pro Bowler LaDainian Tomlinson the past four seasons, with only 1 NFL start under his belt. For his career, he has carried the ball 228 times for 1257 yards (5.5 avg) and 6 touchdowns along with 11 receptions. He is expected to be one of the more coveted players in all of free agency.

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Williams to visit 3 teams

February 29th, 2008 Comments off

Scout.com’s Adam Caplan reports that Falcons free agent linebacker Demorrio Williams has set up visits with three prospective new teams in the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Previous reports have indicated that the Falcons have little or no intention of retaining Williams.

Originally a fourth round pick in 2004 for the Falcons, has started a total of 42 games over the past four seasons with the team. He recorded career highs of 125 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions in 2005. Last year, he had only 77 tackles and 2 interceptions in 16 starts.

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Combine Watch List

February 25th, 2008 1 comment

NFL.com The Falcons will be looking at several prospects throughout their six-day stay at the NFL’s Scouting Combine this weekend. Here are just a few of the players that the Falcons have reportedly shown interest in:
Anthony Collins/KUAthletics.com
TE Gary Barnidge, Louisville (source: KFFL.com)
SS Josh Barrett, Arizona State (source: Scout.com)
WR Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma State (source: Scout.com)
QB Brian Brohm, Louisville (source: Dayton Daily News)
RB Thomas Brown, Georgia (source: Scout.com)
OT Gosder Cherilus, Boston College (source: KFFL.com)
RB Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech (source: Scout.com)
OT Anthony Collins, Kansas (source: KFFL.com)
FS Thomas DeCoud, California (source: AJC)
DE Johnny Dingle, West Virginia (source: KFFL.com)
RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas (source: AJC)
WR Darius Reynaud, West Virginia (source: KFFL.com)
RB Ray Rice, Rutgers (source: Courier News)
WR Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech (source: Scout.com)
DT Pat Sims, Auburn (source: KFFL.com)
RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon (source: Register-Guard)
SS Tom Zbikowski, Notre Dame (source: AJC)

Jonathan Stewart
Pat Sims

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Falcons could look to Denver for RB and K options

February 25th, 2008 Comments off

Bill Williamson of the Denver Post writes that the Falcons could show interest in Jason Elam if or when he becomes available for free agency next week. Williamson also reports on rumors that the Falcons could be curious about a potential late round swap for current Broncos backup running back Mike Bell.

Williamson cites that Elam has familial ties to the state of Georgia as potential reasons why joining the Falcons could interest him. He will turn 38 in March, and has played the last 15 years with the Broncos. He tied the league record for longest field goal of 63 yards in 1998 and currently ranks 6th all-time on the all-time scoring list with 1,786 points. The Falcons are potentially interested in replacing 47-year old Morten Andersen, who is the current all-time leading scorer in NFL history with 2,544 points.

Bell fell on the depth chart this past year after a fairly strong showing as a rookie in 2006. That year he had 157 carries for 677 yards (4.3 avg) and 8 touchdowns along with 20 receptions. This past year, he appeared in only 5 games, rushing for 3 yards on 6 carries with 1 catch. He’ll turn 25 in April, and was an undrafted free agent in 2006 out of Arizona.

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Trading up to #1

February 24th, 2008 2 comments

The Miami Herald reported on Saturday about the possibility of the Falcons dealing DeAngelo Hall to the Dolphins as part of a bid to get the Dolphins less than coveted No. 1 overall draft pick. The immediate presumption I’m more many would make is that the Falcons would be trading up to get Boston College QB Matt Ryan. But I’m hear to suggest that if such a move were made, the Falcons should instead do it to target Virginia DE Chris Long.

If you ask me (and by default you are since you’re reading this), Long is the best prospect in this draft. That doesn’t mean he’s the most talented, but when you factor in talent, character, work ethic, and how he projects to the NFL, all the things that scouts consider when they are building their draft board, he’s the best player.

He has the potential to be every bit if not better than his Hall of Fame father. The likely trade scenario would involve the Falcons shipping Hall and the No. 3 overall pick to Miami for the No. 1 overall pick. And frankly, I think so highly of Long, I would really think about making this trade.

Now, I’m sure there are those thinking: “Why would the Falcons draft another 1st round DE when we just drafted Jamaal Anderson last year?” Well, my response is that you’re not drafting Long to replace Anderson, you’re drafting him to replace John Abraham.

I hope Abe is going anywhere anytime soon. But let’s be reasonable. In 2010, Abraham will be 32 years old and carry a cap hit of over $9 million. It’s just unrealistic at this point to expect him to continue to be producing at a level by then that would merit such a financial investment.

So drafting his replacement sooner rather than later makes a lot of sense, considering that is does take at least a year or two before defensive ends adjust to the NFL.

Mike Smith’s defensive scheme is predicated on the front four being able to put pressure on the quarterback. It remains to be seen if Anderson can accomplish that, and it’s likely that Abraham won’t be able to for very much longer.

The other thing about Long is that while not as flashy as say other prospects, he’s a very good face for this organization. He’s got a great work ethic and already established and displayed great leadership skills at UVA. This is exactly the type of player that Dimitroff wants to build as the centerpiece in the new era of Falcons football.

So what does this do with our other draft options. Assuming we don’t need to give up either of our 2nd round picks, we still are in a good position to move up to get a quarterback. It’s unlikely at this point that Matt Ryan falls out of the Top 10, but a player like Brian Brohm could be had late in Round 1. While I don’t think he’s as good as Ryan, I wouldn’t be upset if we had to “settle” for him.

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Falcons interested in Rogers?

February 24th, 2008 Comments off

As part of their Combine blog, Draft Daddy.com is reporting that the Falcons are one of several teams interested in acquiring Detroit Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers. Rogers is currently being shopped by the Lions. DraftDaddy even mentions that there’s a possibility of the Falcons swapping disgruntled cornerback DeAngelo Hall for Rogers. According to the Detroit Free Press, cornerback is a position that the Lions are expected to upgrade this off-season. ESPN reports that at least five or six teams are interested in Rogers. MLive.com reports that the Lions would prefer to deal Rogers to an AFC team.

Rogers will turn 29 in March, and is coming off a season in which he recorded 39 tackles, 7 sacks, and an interception. Standing 6’4″ 340 pounds, he’s known both for his abilities as a pass rusher and run stopper. Rogers is slated to have a base salary of $4.25 million in 2008.

No trades can occur until February 29, the same day that free agency opens.

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