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FalcFans Weekly Round-Up – March 9, 2014

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Ebron

Publishing weekly round-ups dealing with various Atlanta Falcons news was a regular event during the abyss known as 2011 NFL Lockout. Since then, I haven’t had much need for them but I figure that it is time to dust them off this offseason.

Partially because my day job has me traveling a lot during the week which limits the number of timely updates and posts I can have during the week involving Falcons-related items. So they will be partially house-cleaning for any stories I may not have written during the week.

I will also aggregate some articles, both Falcons-related and not, that I think are worthy of views that were posted during the past week.

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The Falcons are actively working on retaining some of their own free agents including defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, center Joe Hawley, and guard Mike Johnson according to reports.

Rounding up news involving Falcons free agents is that defensive tackle Peria Jerry is also unlikely to be retained, prompting some celebration.

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North Carolina tight end prospect Eric Ebron joins the list of potential draft picks being openly in favor of playing for the Falcons. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney previously voiced his favor for Atlanta as a potential landing zone. Here’s what Ebron had to say:

I would love to play for the Falcons. Julio Jones, Roddy White and Matt Ryan – I would love to play with those guys. Those are big shoes to fill, which I’m not afraid of. I can’t walk into the league expecting to be Tony G. I’m just going to compete as hard as I can as myself.

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The Falcons tendered cornerback Robert McClain, an impending restricted free agent, at the original pick level.

That means the Falcons would receive a seventh round pick if another NFL team signs McClain to an offer sheet and the Falcons decline their right of first refusal and let him walk. McClain was originally a seventh-round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2010 and joined the Falcons in 2012.

By tendering him, McClain is essentially under contract even before he chooses to sign his tender. Restricted free agents have the ability to sign offer sheets with other teams, after which their original teams have seven days to match the deal or receive compensation via trade. The deadline for when restricted free agents are allowed to sign offer sheets with other teams is May 2 this year. McClain is set to make $1.431 million this year if he does not receive an offer sheet.

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In a bit of serendipity, one former Falcons running back will replace another as an assistant coach at Marshall. Chris Barclay, who spent time on the Falcons practice squad in 2008, will take over as the school’s running backs coach for Thomas Brown, who was drafted by the Falcons in the seventh round of the draft of that same year. Brown departed to take the same position at Wisconsin. Neither Barclay nor Brown played in a regular season game for the Falcons.

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If you’re looking for a scenario that involves Jadeveon Clowney falling to the Falcons at pick number six this April, according to Blogging Dirty it is likely one that involves one of the top five teams falling in love with Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. I can’t say it’s a likely scenario but given Watkins is fresh off a strong Combine and pro day performance, it does seem as likely as ever will be.

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FalcFans podcast co-host Allen Strk looks at ten free agents that could be of interest to the Falcons. Tight end is a position that hasn’t been talked about much as a top need for the Falcons, and Allen throws out two potential targets that once upon a time were considered two of the better players in the league but now have been somewhat mired in obscurity due to injuries.

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Zach Kidd takes a look at some potential free agent targets and fits over at Draft Falcons, including calling Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd a “can’t miss free agent.”

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In case you missed any of the articles written on FalcFans over the past week, you can find links here:

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Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

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