I don't think that resigning Abe is a mission critical thing at this point in time. He's like 35 years old. He goes missing for extended periods of time. He can make an impact when he wants to, but I just don't see him as someone that we should be throwing a lot of money at. If he's willing to come back for LESS money, then great. But I really don't think he's worth top money at this point.
I disagree. After Grimes, Abe should be the 2nd priority re-signing on the team's list ahead of Lofton and others. Abe is the only pass rusher on this team that at any point during the last 8 weeks of the season decided to show up on a regular basis. I too wouldn't break the bank for him (I'm envisioning something that doesn't pay him more than $10M over the next 2 yrs), but if we lose him and don't adequately replace him with some stud in the draft (doubtful w/o 1st round pick), or sign Robert Mathis, or Ray Edwards suddenly becomes an even better player than he was in Minnesota, the Falcons pass rush is going to be TERRIBLE next year! If you thought 2009 and 2010 were bad, if you thought '06 was bad where Kerney & Abe were hurt for most of the year, and we had to rely on the likes of Chauncey Davis, Paul Carrington, and Josh Mallard to provide much of our rush, then 2012 might put all of those years to shame.
And if you couple that with the team not re-signing Grimes, and having coverage that makes the '09 season look great. Robinson is a better fit in Nolan's scheme than he was in BVG, but that doesn't mean he's going to be good. And Franks/Owens have a lot to prove at the other spot. Like I said in another thread, they should enter this summer as the No. 4 and 5 corners, not the No. 2 and 3 guys.
So unless the Falcons pass on keeping those guys, and go out in FA and spend some serious money on other guys, this is setting up for a disastrous year on defense.
Resigning Decoud would be like #20 on my list. Going after a FA safety would be higher on my priority list. Decoud is not good.
Who are you going to sign that is better? DaShon Goldson? Brodney Pool? Jim Leonhard? Reggie Nelson? LaRon Landry? Goldson has 6 picks and that makes everyone think he's the next Ed Reed, and he definitely has it going for him that he was drafted by Mike Nolan. But up until this season, he definitely wasn't better than DeCoud. Singletary was high on his potential, but he never quite lived up to it under him. And that makes me think it's either the Vic Fangio scheme or the contract year boost.
Could he wind up being better? Sure. But are you going to pay him to find out? $10 million guaranteed and $5M/yr.? Or would you prefer to sign DeCoud back for like $3M/yr. and like $3-5M guaranteed?
I think both Pool and Leonhard are better. But Pool is an underwhelming run defender, and Leonhard hasn't made it through the past two seasons healthy. And Landry is a good player but he's always struggled when asked to play FS.