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More tenders for Falcons free agents

March 3rd, 2010 Comments off

Updating previous reports, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC now reports that in addition to Tyson Clabo and Michael Koenen, Jerious Norwood and Harvey Dahl have also received first round tenders. Ledbetter also reports that Quinn Ojinnaka received a tender, which was already reported by Adam Caplan of Scout.com on his Twitter acount. Caplan also reports that Jason Snelling received a second round tender.

This update now indicates that the Falcons have only yet to tender safeties Antoine Harris, Jamaal Fudge, and Charlie Peprah.

Like Clabo, Norwood and Dahl carry first round pick as compensation in the case they are signed by another team. They will earn salaries of $2.521 million this year. Snelling will carry second round compensation with a salary of $1.684 million.

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Falcons have decisions to make on restricted FAs

March 2nd, 2010 Comments off

We don’t know quite what the Falcons will do with their restricted free agent tenders. They have until Thursday to make decisions. But here is what I think should and could happen.

Chief among the Falcons restricted free agents are Jason Snelling, Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, Jerious Norwood, and Michael Koenen. The Falcons will almost certainly tender all five of these players.

Because of the rules of the uncapped season, restricted free agents won’t be just fourth year players, instead fifth and sixth year players will also be restricted. And thus, because of their different levels of experience, players will have different tender levels. The way restricted free agency works is that teams tender players at certain levels to determine potential compensation if another team signs them to an offer sheet. If the original team chooses not to match the offer sheet, then they sign with the new team and the original team gets some sort of compensation, usually equaling the original round in which the player was drafted.

Snelling as a fourth year player at a minimum will be tendered with a $1.101 million tender. If that is the case, the Falcons will receive a 7th round pick in terms of compensation if another team was to sign him. But since the Falcons saw how valuable Snelling was last year both as a reserve fullback and tailback, it’s likely they will tender him at a higher level. That next highest level will be $1.684 million, which allows them to receive a second round pick as compensation.

Clabo, Dahl, and Norwood are fifth year players. Both Clabo and Dahl were undrafted free agents, which means if the Falcons tendered them at the lowest level they would receive nothing in terms of compensation. More than likely, the team will tender both starters at the first round level, which for players with their experience would be worth $2.521 million. Norwood as a former third round pick probably can be tendered at the minimum level of $1.176 million.

Koenen is a sixth-year player but since he was tagged with the Franchise tag last year his minimum tender will have to be 110% of what he made last year. The franchise tag for last season was $2.48 million, which means that the Falcons will have to tender him at $2.73 million.

The other restricted free agents on the roster include safeties Antoine Harris, Charlie Peprah, and Jamaal Fudge, and offensive linemen Quinn Ojinnaka. Ojinnaka is the most likely to get tendered because of his value as a utility backup on the offensive line. As a fifth round pick, he’ll likely be tendered at the minimum level for a fifth year player ($1.176 million).

The three safeties will be harder to decide. All three players can contribute on special teams, but more than likely next summer there will only be one roster spot available for any. So more than likely, the Falcons could probably get away with tendering one of them, whichever they see as the most valuable and most likely to win a camp competition, and let the other two walk. That player will more than likely be either Harris or Peprah. The team cut Fudge at the end of last year’s camp, and only brought him back after Brian William’s injury. So they’ve already seen him as expendable. Harris ended the season on injured reserve after tearing a PCL in December. The team can’t cut him because he’s injured, but not tendering him is a way of letting him go without having to come to an injury settlement. But a PCL tear is considerably less devastating as an ACL tear, and usually doesn’t require surgery (see Brian Finneran). Time to rest typically can heal them, so more than likely unless any complications come up during Harris’ rehab, he should be healthy enough to compete for a job come August. Peprah also ended the season injured with a sore hamstring, but that should also be healed in time for OTAs.

More than likely the team will tender both at the minimum level ($1.176 million). That would mean no compensation for Harris because he was undrafted, and fifth round pick for Peprah. If they decide to tender Fudge, it would put him in the same boat as Harris because he too was undrafted.

Falcons make roster moves to bolster special teams

December 29th, 2009 Comments off
Steven Hauschka

Steven Hauschka

The team announced several roster moves including signing kicker Steven Hauschka. The team also placed guard Harvey Dahl and cornerback Chris Houston on injured reserve. The team filled their remaining roster position by promoting linebacker Robert James from the practice squad.

in 9 games with the Ravens this season, Hauschka connected on 9 of 13 field goals. He was cut by the Ravens after missing a 36-yard field and having an extra point blocked in a Week 10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

The Falcons need for a kicker became apparent when both kicker Matt Bryant and punter Michael Koenen were injured on Sunday versus the Bills. Bryant hurt his hamstring, and Koenen, the team’s kickoff specialist, suffered an injury to the head. Hauschka also handled kickoff duties for the Ravens this season prior to his release.

According to Scout.com, the Falcons worked out both Hauschka and Nick Folk, formerly of the Cowboys, on Monday. Hauschka worked out for the team back in November when they were seeking to replace Jason Elam. They ultimately replaced Elam with Bryan the following week.

Dahl has missed the past four games with an ankle injury. Houston has been absent from three games with a hamstring injury.

James was a fifth round pick drafted by the Falcons in 2008. Of the nine members of the 11-man draft class that remain with the team, James is the only one who has yet to suit up for a game. He spent all of last season on injured reserve, and has spent the entire season to date this year on the practice squad.

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Dahl tops team’s performance-based pay chart

March 24th, 2009 Comments off

Brian McIntyre of FalconInsider.com reports that Falcons guard Harvey Dahl received the most on the team as far as the league’s performance-based pay roll. Annually, the league rewards players with low salaries that earn significant playing time.

Dahl earned the most on the team with $255,938. He started every game at right guard after having earned $445,000 in his regular base salary.

Second on the list was right tackle Tyson Clabo, who pocketed $254,297 adding to his $445,000 base salary as well.

FalconInsider.com lists ten other players’ extra payouts:

Kroy Biermann, DE – $162,469
Justin Blalock, OG – $144,273
Harry Douglas, WR – $112,217
Brent Grimes, CB – $189,409
Chris Houston, CB – $139, 921
Chevis Jackson, CB – $122,031
Justin Peelle, TE – $123,329
Marcus Pollard, TE – $1,386
Jason Snelling, RB – $121,308
Coy Wire, LB – $113,837

Pollard’s was the lowest on the team.

Falcons agree to terms with 3 free agents

February 27th, 2009 Comments off
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons have re-signed three of their upcoming free agents. The Falcons have agreed to terms with tight end Justin Peelle, defensive tackle Jason Jefferson, and linebacker Coy Wire.
Also the Falcons extended the second round tender to restricted free agent guard Harvey Dahl. Center Ben Wilkerson also a restricted free agent has agreed to return. There has been no word on Jamaal Fudge, the team’s remaining restricted free agent and whether the Falcons intend to retain him.
Wire agreed to a two-year contract. The terms of the other players’ deals were unknown. Along with Peelle and Jefferson he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.
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Falcons slap 2nd round tender on Clabo

February 26th, 2009 Comments off

FalconInsider.com reports that the Falcons have tendered restricted free agent Tyson Clabo with a second round pick. Clabo will earn $1.545 million this year in salary. If another team attempts to sign him this off-season, the Falcons have the right to match the offer in order to keep him or will receive a second round pick as compensation if they choose not to.

Clabo started 16 games this past year at right tackle. He has started 37 games in the past three seasons for the Falcons after joining the team’s practice squad in 2005. He was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Wake Forest in 2004 with the Denver Broncos. He has started at left guard, right guard, and right tackle in his Falcon career.

The Falcons have three other restricted free agents, and today is the deadline for teams to extend tenders to them. Guard Harvey Dahl, safety Jamaal Fudge, and center Ben Wilkerson are the other RFAs.
There are four levels for restricted free agents. The highest level carries compensation of first and third round picks and a $2.792 million salary. The second highest level has compensation of a first round pick and a $2.198 million salary. The next level is the second round tender that Clabo received. The lowest level carries a salary of $1.01 million, and has the compensation of the round in which the player was originally selected. Since all four of the Falcons restricted free agents were not drafted, they will get no compensation if they are tendered at the lowest level. If the Falcons do not tender them at all, they become unrestricted free agents and are free to sign with any team.
Scout.com also reports that the Falcons have opted not to extend a tender to exclusive rights free agent offensive tackle Pat McCoy, making him an unrestricted free agent. Unlike restricted free agents, exclusive rights free agents are tendered based off experience and given the minimum salary determined by the number of years they have been in the league.
The Falcons other exclusive rights free agents are: tackle Renardo Foster, cornerback Brent Grimes, safety Antoine Harris, and running back Jason Snelling. The Falcons will also need to tender them as well since the free agent signing period begins tonight at midnight.
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Turner is All-Pro

January 9th, 2009 Comments off

Running back Michael Turner was the only Falcon player to be named to the Associated Press’s annual All-Pro team. Turner came in second place among voting at the running back position, garner 40 votes behind Adrian Peterson’s 45 votes.

Several other Falcons received votes however. John Abraham had 17 votes, coming in fourth place among defensive ends. Roddy White had four votes and was sixth in the voting at wide receiver. Fullback Ovie Mughelli, guard Harvey Dahl, center Todd McClure, and kicker Jason Elam eached garnered a single vote at their respective positions.

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Harrington, Forney among final cuts

August 31st, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons announced their cuts today to get their roster down to the 53-man limit for the regular season. This likely won’t be the only moves the team makes before their opener against the Detroit Lions on September 7, as they will pilfer through the waiver wire looking for players other teams released today.

Most prominent among those players released were quarterback Joey Harrington and guard Kynan Forney. Harrington started 10 games for the Falcons last year and was the team’s leading passer, but lost out in the battle this summer against D.J. Shockley. Forney had started 89 games over the past seven seasons with the Falcons, but fell out of favor by the coaching staff early on with the emergence of Harvey Dahl in off-season workouts.

The other players released were: guard D’Anthony Batiste, safety Eric Brock, offensive tackle Mike Butterworth, safety Deke Cooper, center Doug Datish, defensive end Willie Evans, cornerback Wilrey Fontenot, defensive end Brandon Miller, defensive tackle Rashad Moore, offensive tackle Terrance Pennington, linebacker Mickey Pimentel, tight end Marcus Pollard, cornerback Glenn Sharpe, defensive tackle Montavious Stanley, safety Daren Stone, linebacker Cameron Vaughn, wide receivers Eric Weems and Chandler Williams, and tight end Keith Zinger. The team also placed running back Thomas Brown on injured reserve, as he’ll miss the season with a torn muscle near his groin, suffered on Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Ravens.

Along with Brown, Fontenot and Zinger were the only draft picks that did not make the final roster. Datish and Stone were draft picks for the team in 2007. None of the other players released had joined the team prior to last season.

Tomorrow, the Falcons will also establish their eight-man practice squad. Already on the developmental practice squad is wide receiver Noriaki Kinoshita, who counts as a ninth member, but won’t be allowed to be elevated to the team’s roster during the season.

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No favorites on OL for Boudreau

June 13th, 2008 Comments off

Falcons new offensive line coach is virtually starting from scratch with the team’s offensive line. Much of the off-season activities involving the line have been spent shuffling different players to different positions. The only player so far that has not been shuffled around is incumbent starting center Todd McClure, who’s job security has been considered secure by AJC writer Steve Wyche.

“I have no pre-conceived notions. Right now guys are on a clean slate. Whether you were the coach’s favorite before. Whether you weren’t the coach’s favorite. Whether you were on the practice squad I don’t really care. My favorite guys are the guys who do everything right, do it on time and do it physically.” — Paul Boudreau

Right now, practice squad player Harvey Dahl has been working on the first time at right guard, ahead of Kynan Forney who has held that position since the middle of the 2001 season. Boudreau praises both Dahl and right tackle Tyson Clabo as being two of the team’s nastiest players. Clabo is considered to be ahead at right tackle, but both his and Dahl’s starting status is not fixed. Right tackle Todd Weiner is coming off a tough knee injury, but is expected to be 100% by the start of training camp. He could re-assume the starting spot at that position if that occurs. Clabo started 11 games last year in place for Weiner at right tackle.

Boudreau also praised rookie left tackle Sam Baker, who looks like he will have a good chance to hold the starting position there when the season starts.

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