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 Post subject: Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safety
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:38 am 
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Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safety
February 8th, 2014
Aaron Freeman

The safety position for the Atlanta Falcons is potentially in flux this offseason as the team has a decision to make in determining whether or not to keep starting free safety Thomas DeCoud.

That decision will need to be made by March 15, as that is the day in which $2.25 million of his $4.2 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed. If that day comes to fruition, the team will lock in DeCoud for one more season as the starter and hope he bounces back to the form he showed in 2012 when he made the Pro Bowl with a team-leading six interceptions. But it doesn’t seem likely given that in the majority of his five seasons as the team’s starting free safety, DeCoud has rarely risen above mediocrity. And he’s also coming off a 2013 campaign that was by far the worst of his career. Instead, the Falcons could opt to cut ties with DeCoud and free up $3 million in cap space for 2014 (per Over The Cap).

Factoring into that decision will likely be the Falcons’ determination on whether they can find a better replacement this offseason. As it currently sits, the team is unlikely to find that upgrade already on the roster. Rookie Zeke Motta replaced an injured DeCoud for two games this past year and struggled. He looked a step slow in coverage, a no-no for any potential starter at free safety. Fellow 2013 draft pick Kemal Ishmael appeared in only a handful of games solely on a special teams, a role he may be ideally suited for. But it’s unlikely the team would give a serious nod to an untested player like him.

Thus if the Falcons are going to find an upgrade, it will have to be either in free agency or the draft. There should be plenty of options in free agency with some promising younger players as well as older veterans that could solidify the position. Given the Falcons are likely to go young at cornerback, it might be smart to add a more experienced hand at safety. But the team could easily decide that the youth trend should continue on the back-end of the secondary as well and look for a draft pick to try and solidify the position long-term.

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 Post subject: Re: Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safet
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:15 pm 
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I think it comes down to whether or not the Falcons can find similar production on the cheap in FA. This team already has enough holes to fill as it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safet
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:22 am 
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It seems the Falcons give these fairly average players too much money. I'd like to have more guys like DeCoud but more along the lines of 2 million not 4 million!! Its why we never seem to
have reserves, we pay them so much early and when they top, out we need to cut them.......

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 Post subject: Re: Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safet
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:10 pm 
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When DeCoud signed his contract in 2012 I believe he was coming off a career year and with him still being fairly young the Falcons would have had a good deal had DeCoud not started regressing.

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 Post subject: Re: Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safet
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:27 pm 
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I'm undecided on this one, he's so inconsistent, he can be anywhere from bench warmer to pro bowler any given year. I guess I'd side slightly on the keep him side, but if we cut him I wouldn't be upset in the least.

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 Post subject: Re: Team Needs: Falcons Will Decide DeCoud’s Future at Safet
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:19 am 
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I've been doing some actual draft prep this year, as I'm excited the Falcons will be near the top of each round. I see 3-4 really nice looking safety's that could be upgrades to Decoud that at least 1 or 2 of which will be available with our second round pick. If we don't get a chance to sign Byrd from Buffalo I think this may be what we do.

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