Adam Caplan of Scout.com reports that New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison is a possibility to land in Atlanta this off-season.
Harrison is an unrestricted free agent this off-season. Per Caplan, a source close to Harrison indicates that two potential destinations for Harrison are the Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Harrison lives in the Atlanta area, making teams in the NFC South attractive.
Harrison only appeared in 6 games this year before tearing a quadriceps muscle that ended his season. Previously expected to retire, there have been indications that Harrison intends to play a bit longer. Harrison, 36, is a 2-time Pro Bowler that has been a major contributor and leader in the Patriots secondary since 2003.
The Falcons interest in Harrison however has not been indicated. Current strong safety, Lawyer Milloy is also an unrestricted free agent and himself is 35 years old. The team has a decision to make whether to bring back the veteran safety who was named one of the team’s two defensive captains after the season. Milloy finished this past season with 92 tackles and 1 interception.
The AJC reports that Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding early Monday morning in Gwinnett County, Georgia. According to records, Milloy was booked around 4:30 am and posted bond at 9:48 am.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith indicated to the media on Monday that the situation will be handled internally by the team.
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’s Steve Wyche reports that several Falcons veterans may not be back in 2008. Among players named by Wyche, who cites NFL officials and player agents, are safeties Lawyer Milloy and Chris Crocker, along with offensive linemen Wayne Gandy, Kynan Forney, and Todd Weiner, wide receivers Brian Finneran and Joe Horn, running back Warrick Dunn, quarterbacks Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich, and linebacker Keith Brooking. Wyche reports that many of these players could be released as soon as Friday, February 15.
Wyche indicates that one player that could be potentially safe is tight end Alge Crumpler, who is coming off a down year. But Crumpler may be retained since it’s doubtful the Falcons could add someone in the draft or free agency that could adequately replace him.
Crocker is an unrestricted free agent, and is not expected to be re-signed. The remaining players represent 10 of the team’s top 15 highest-paid players based on 2008 base salary. The Falcons currently have around $6 million in cap space for the 2008 season. Dunn, Gandy, Milloy, Forney, Harrington, and Leftwich are all entering the final years on their contracts. Brooking and Finneran have two years left on their deals, while Horn and Weiner have three and four, respectively. Among them, Brooking ($4.9 million), Dunn ($4 million), Gandy ($3.5 million), and Forney ($2.95 million) have the highest 2008 base salaries.