Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that Michael Boley has signed with the New York Giants, making him the second Falcon free agent lost this off-season after Domonique Foxworth signed with the Baltimore Ravens yesterday. Per Vacchiano, Boley has agreed to a five-year contract worth $25 million with $10 million guaranteed. Earlier reports indicated that the Giants were finalizing a contract with Boley since last night after he visited the team on Friday, the first day of free agency.
Boley was not expected to return to the Falcons after a down 2008 season. Boley finished this past year with 72 tackles, his lowest total since his rookie year in 2005. Boley was benched for the final month of the season, working almost exclusively on passing downs. In 2006 and 2007, Boley was a regular playmaker combining for 6 sacks, 4 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. This past season, he had no sacks, 1 interception, no forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery.
Reports indicate that Boley never quite meshed well with the scheme introduced by head coach Mike Smith and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. Boley also may have had distractions looming from an off-field incident occurring last May.
The Falcons released their final injury report today with several of the team’s starters being listed on it. Linebacker Michael Boley, defensive tackle Grady Jackson, and offensive linemen Todd Weiner and Tyson Clabo were listed as questionable for this week’s contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. However offensive tackle Sam Baker was listed as probable.
Boley is listed with a neck injury telling the AJC that it is a “little stiff” and has improved as the week has progressed. Jackson injured his knee prior to last week’s contest against the Buccaneers and sat out that game. Weiner hurt his knee and Clabo injured his elbow. Clabo has started at right tackle this season, and Weiner filled in at left tackle last week for an injured Sam Baker. Baker suffered a concussion early in the Bucs game, but should be able to play this Sunday due to his probable status. Weiner’s knee injury will be one to watch. He missed much of last season after injury both knees and also sat for the majority of the off-season unable to practice.Also listed as doubtful was center Alex Stepanovich. He has already missed time due to a back injury he suffered in the summer.Also the Falcons would seem unlikely to sign free agent defensive Jason Babin before this week’s game. MLive.com reported on Wednesday that Babin was set to work out with the Falcons on Thursday, after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks earlier that day. Babin was a first round pick in 2004 by the Houston Texans and began his career as an outslide linebacker. But he was then traded to the Seahawks in 2007 and has played as a defensive end for them. He only played in 2 games in 2007, but in three seasons with the Texans had earned 22 starts. He has 13 career sacks and 126 tackles. The AJC reports that the Falcons are actively looking to improve their pass rush.
Pro Football Weekly reports that the Falcons are not moving forward in attempting to extend safety Lawyer Milloy’s contract until they can gauge the “team dynamic” after a few weeks of the upcoming season. Milloy is entering a contract year, meaning he will be a free agent next spring.
Milloy turns 35 in November, and per PFW is seeking to have his contract extended by at least one year. According to the report, if Milloy doesn’t receive an extension by the end of the year, he’ll likely decide to move on in free agency to a contending team.
Although none were explicitly mentioned, this could also be a stance the team is taking with other contract year players. That includes prospective unrestricted free agents linebacker Michael Boley, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, punter Michael Koenen, and wide receiver Michael Jenkins. Offensive linemen Tyson Clabo and Harvey Dahl both are set to become restricted free agents after this season.
The AJC reports that Falcons linebacker Michael Boley was arrested on Saturday on battery charges and has been released on $1,200 bond.
Falcons officials indicated they are aware of Boley’s arrest, but have no comment. Boley last month signed a one-year restricted free agent tender worth over $2 million, and the team has been trying to give him a long-term extension.
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.
The AJC’s Steve Wyche reports in his blog that the Falcons are currently begun talks to extend the contract of linebacker Michael Boley. Boley’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is slated to become a restricted free agent in March. If a deal cannot be done by then, the Falcons are expected to tender him at a high level in order to gain compensation in case another team signs him. They will also be given the right of first refusal, which means that if another team attempts to sign him the Falcons will be given the chance to match their offer.
Wyche reports that the Falcons have not engaged in contract talks with two more impending free agents: safety Chris Crocker and linebacker Demorrio Williams. Both Crocker and Williams will be unrestricted free agents after this season.
Wyche also reports that the Falcons are not talking to cornerback DeAngelo Hall about an extension, likely due to the incidents between Hall and the current coaching staff. Hall will not become a free agent until after the 2008 season, so there is still time for the team. Hall has indicated in the past his desire to get the best possible deal.
You can find an updated list of the Falcons upcoming free agents for next year and future years at FalcFans.com.
The Falcons hired Southern Mississippi assistant Derrick Nix to be the assistant running backs coach under Ollie Wilson. Wilson was one of three assistant coaches retained under new head coach Bobby Petrino from the previous staff under Jim Mora. Nix could be considered the protege and future successor to the 55-year old Wilson.
Nix will undoubtedly be the youngest member of Petrino’s staff, as he will turn 26 in February. Although new assistant secondary coach Joe Whitt, Jr. is 28. He has spent the past four seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Southern Miss.
Nix earned All-Conference honors his first two seasons at Southern Miss, rushing for over 1000 yards each year. An ankle injury limited his junior season (2000), but those injuries were further complicated by kidney problems. He would return to the field in 2002, and rush for a career high 1194 yards and 11 touchdowns. But further kidney problems cost him any shot at the NFL. He received a transplant of a kidney donated by his brother, Marcus, in June 2003. Shortly after he took over as a graduate assistant at Southern Miss, with his duties mostly involved with coaching the defensive backs. In 2004, he moved to tight ends coach. And in 2005, he moved to coach the team’s running backs. He finished his playing career at Southern Miss, ranking second on the team’s all-time rushing list with 3584 yards and third with 30 touchdowns.
Nix was a college teammate of current starting Falcons linebacker Michael Boley.