Archive for August, 2009

Roddy gets $50 million

August 9th, 2009 Comments off
Roddy White

Roddy White

Brian McIntyre of reports that the Falcons agreed Saturday night to a contract extension of holdout wide receiver Roddy White that is worth $50 million over six years and includes $18.6 million guaranteed.

White was set to make $2.28 million in salary this season, and opted to hold out of training camp since it was the final year of the contract he signed in 2005 as a rookie. White was set to become a restricted free agent if the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement was not extended before the start of next off-season, severely limited his ability to test the open market for a big money contract. White missed a full week of practice as the Falcons training camp began on Saturday, August 1.

It was reported that White was seeking a contract on par with top-paid Larry Fitzgerald, who received a four-year $40 million contract that included $30 million guaranteed in 2008. Per Pro Football, White will receive just under $28 million over the next three years.

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Falcons add Marty Booker

August 6th, 2009 Comments off
Marty Booker

Marty Booker

J. Michael Moore of Atlanta reports that the Falcons have added another wide receiver to help alleviate their issues at the position by signing veteran Marty Booker.

Booker, 33, is a ten-year veteran who most recently played for the Chicago Bears last year. He started 5 of 13 games, catching 14 passes for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns. For his career, Booker has caught 523 passes for 6,522 yards and 17 touchdowns. Prior to that, Booker worked in Miami alongside current Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. In the two seasons where Booker worked alongside Mularkey, he combined for 105 catches for 1,303 yards and 7 touchdowns. Booker went to the Pro Bowl with the Bears in 2002.

To make room for Booker, the Falcons released Bradon Godfrey.

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Moore out up to 4 weeks

August 6th, 2009 Comments off

The AJC reports that Falcons safety William Moore is expected to miss 1 to 4 weeks due to a recent procedure performed on his left knee. Moore is in the midst of a roster battle with Thomas DeCoud for the starting strong safety position opposite Erik Coleman. This loss likely will give DeCoud a significant edge in winning the job for the start of the regular season.

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Falcons add Ferguson to help depleted receiver corps

August 6th, 2009 Comments off

The AJC reports that the Falcons have signed veteran wide receiver Robert Ferguson to help out their weakened wide receiver position. Yesterday it was revealed that wideout Harry Douglas will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in practice. The Falcons are also dealing with the holdout of Roddy White as well.

Ferguson played 8 games last year for the Minnesota Vikings, catching 3 passes for 25 yards. The previous season he started 8 of 15 games for the Vikings, with 32 receptions for 391 yards and 1 touchdown. Ferguson was a 2nd round pick for the Green Bay Packers in 2001, and spent six seasons with that team before joining the Vikings in 2007. In six seasons with the Packers, he started 26 of 60 games, catching 116 passes for 1,577 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Falcons still have an available roster spot, which could be used to add another receiver.

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Options thin at receiver

August 6th, 2009 Comments off

The free agent market is fairly depleted at the receiver position. Most of the players available are either too old, too crappy, or too injured to be considered capable fixes at the position.

For the time being it makes the most sense to move Michael Jenkins over to split end, and work Brian Finneran into the starting lineup at the flanker position. But the team needs a better option than Jenkins at that spot, at least until Roddy White is back into the fold. Ideally, White will be back soon, and whoever the team added can slide into the slot, taking over for Douglas.

The biggest name on the list of remaining free agents is Marvin Harrison. Harrison still probably has something left in the tank, but he spent his entire career in Indianapolis at flanker. Two other big names that at least played split end during their careers are Jerry Porter and Reggie Williams. Porter is coming off a late 2008 groin injury, and there’s still a chance that Reggie Williams might be suspended for part of this upcoming season based off some off-field off-season incidents this past spring. Matt Jones is also available, but he too is a flanker, and is probably one beer away from being suspended (again). Old man Ike Hilliard is out there, can help at receiver and also contribute as a punt returner. But he’s never been a productive punt returner, so he’d be more an option on offense in the slot.

As for return threats, the team can look at Dante Hall. He’s no longer the player he used to be, but he’s still a productive punt returner, averaging 10.3 yards on 9 returns last season. Another option would be ex-Chief Kevin Robinson, who is a bit younger with some more upside. Neither player however offers much help on offense, at least not significantly more than any of the other camp bodies the team has already at the position. Remember Eddie Drummond, he’s a free agent right now as well.

Another name to keep your eye on would be Dexter Jackson. He’s currently a Buc, but he’s probably on the trade block this summer if he doesn’t show a lot of things on offense for them. It’s doubtful the Bucs would trade their 2008 2nd round pick to a division rival, but it might be worth exploring. Some other trade possibilities that could Arnaz Battle (49ers) or Chris Davis (Titans).

At this point, the Falcons may even try calling up Troy Brown to see if he is willing to come out of retirement and suit it up one last time.

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Douglas tears ACL, out for year

August 5th, 2009 Comments off

Adam Schefter reports on his twitter page that Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas tore his ACL and is out for the season. Earlier today, Douglas was injured with an undisclosed leg injury in practice. Douglas had been taking the starter’s reps at wideout due to the holdout of Roddy White. The Falcons are now shy two receivers with the added loss of Douglas, and will likely seek another veteran free agent to help fill the role.

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Contract talks not going well with White

August 5th, 2009 Comments off

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the contract talks between the Falcons and disgruntled wideout Roddy White have taken a turn for the worse. Per a statement from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, both parties appear to be digging in and the potential for an impasse could occur soon.

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the direction that the negotiations are going at this point. It’s one of those situations where both parties are digging in and feel strongly about their case…We want Roddy to be here for a long, long time. But there comes a point in training camp where it is a disadvantage to Roddy himself. Our thought is that soon enough, we’ll have to move forward and re-address this at the end of the season.”
– Thomas Dimitroff

Reportedly, White is looking for a contract in the same ballpark as the one signed by wideout Larry Fitzgerald in March 2008. Fitzgerald received a four-year $40 million extension from the Arizona Cardinals which included $30 million in guaranteed money. But the Falcons aren’t keen on paying him that much. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on his twitter page that it is “categorically false” that White is seeking more than Fitzgerald. Last season, Fitzgerald led the NFC in receptions (96) and receiving yards (1,431), as well as the entire league with 12 receiving touchdowns.  White had 88 catches for 1,382 yards and 7 touchdowns last season.

Per the report, the Falcons could be close to withdrawing their offer and suspending contract talks until the end of the season. Pro Football cited league sources on Monday that indicated there were some personal conflicts between members of the Falcons front office and White’s representation. White already faces fines of roughly $16,000 for each day of camp he misses, but could be fined even greater amounts if he decides to skip preseason games.

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Douglas injured, Lyons cut

August 5th, 2009 Comments off

The AJC reports that Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas left practice earlier today with an undisclosed leg injury. The team also released wideout Dicky Lyons, Jr. who was signed yesterday to help the depleted roster due to the holdout of Roddy White. The severity of Douglas’ injury is not known yet.

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Falcons add receiver to fill out practice

August 4th, 2009 Comments off

Due to the holdout of receiver Roddy White reaching its fourth day, the Falcons signed another receiver in order to gain an extra pair of legs for training camp by adding undrafted rookie Dicky Lyons, Jr out of Kentucky. The Falcons gained an extra roster spot since White was placed on the Reseve/Did Not Report list.

His father was a fourth round draft pick for the Falcons in 1969, although he never played a game for the team. He caught 33 passes this past year in 6 games before he tore two ligaments (PCL and MCL) in his right knee, sidelining him for the rest of the season.

The following scouting report was written about Lyons in this year’s draft guide:

Pros: Has decent hands and shows some potential after the catch. Has
experience as a punt returner.
Cons: Lacks size. Doesn’t have speed to be an impact returner in the pros. Will struggle to get separation. Lacking blocker that gives minimal effort there.
Atlanta Forecast: Lyons could push for the punt returner job if the Falcons decide to get Douglas more reps on offense. But unless he proves to be a really good gunner on punt coverage, he’s not going to stick in Atlanta. He’s just a camp body really with limited offensive upside.
Value: Not worth a draft pick. Probably best going to Canada or the Arena Leagues.

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Winborn officially signs

August 1st, 2009 Comments off

J. Michael Moore of reports that officially free agent linebacker Jamie Winborn has been signed. It was originally reported by on Thursday that the Falcons had signed him. But his agent indicated the following day that nothing had been worked out yet.

To free up a roster spot, the Falcons cut rookie linebacker Rashad Bobino.

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