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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.

Let’s make a deal

October 19th, 2009 Comments off

The minute I mention the word trade, I’m sure it’s only going to take a few seconds before Glenn Dorsey’s name pops into the head of someone out there. Why? Truth be told, the majority of Falcon fans wanted the team to draft him back in 2008 instead of Matt Ryan, and the notion that the team can still land their “franchise” defensive player along with their franchise quarterback is appealing to many.

There are rumors out there that Dorsey (along with every other Chief not named Matt Cassel) is on the block. This past summer, it looked like the Chiefs would be willing to move to Dorsey for next to nothing in order to get some return on their investment, but I don’t think that is the case anymore. Dorsey is the Chiefs best end as of today and is coming off a strong seven-tackle performance vs. the Redskins. Dorsey has 22 tackles on the season. For comparison, their other starter and first round pick Tyson Jackson has only five. The disparity isn’t that much different between that of John Abraham and Jamaal Anderson on our own roster. And when put in those terms, I don’t believe the Chiefs will simply give Dorsey away for anything less than a second round pick.

The Falcons are probably not in a position to really make any trades. The team has already dealt away next year’s second round pick. And while I think the team will get compensated with some early picks for next year’s draft because of our free agent losses this past off-season, it’s not the same. Even with an extra third and/or fourth rounder, the team has to be weary about falling into the trap that Rich McKay did in 2006 and start dealing all their draft picks away for veteran players to get them over the hump. The crappiness of the ’06 draft is one of the reasons why the team was so bad when Dimitroff took over. Draft picks are precious, particularly those from the first few rounds.

Which is why if the Falcons are looking to make any moves on this trade deadline, they are probably best trying to offer player for player deals instead of player for pick deals. Which then begs the question of which current Falcon players offer the most trade value.

Despite improved performances this year and especially the past two games, the Falcons could still look to deal Jamaal Anderson if they think they can get good value for him.

The only other players on the roster that the Falcons could afford to move and get something in return is either of the two reserve backs: Norwood and Snelling.  They might try to flip one of the reserve corners: Jackson or Hill, but with Brian Williams injury status from last night up in the air, that probably isn’t a smart move.

I think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that we make a deal before tomorrow night’s trade deadline. And if the Falcons were, I think the best move might be to move Norwood for a cornerback, particularly if the early prognosis on Brian Williams injury isn’t too promising. If we get lucky, maybe the Texans GM Rick Smith gets drunk tonight and decides to deal us Dunta Robinson for Norwood straight up. A deal that packages Anderson and Norwood for Dorsey is a popular one on the forums is probably the most realistic (if you can use that term when speculating on Falcon trades). Dorsey is a heck of a talent, but is he really as promising as he looked a year and a half ago? Are we sure that latent Top 5 potential is still there and will emerge once he arrives in Atlanta? Or are we simply ignoring the facts that Dorsey has been a fairly average player since he’s entered the league under some false hope that Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff can turn everything to gold. Maybe we were just simply all wrong that Dorsey was as good a talent as we thought he was in April 2008.

Who knows? I’m sure Thomas Dimitroff has an idea. And it’s why he gets paid millions of dollars (at least I hope he does because if he doesn’t, he deserves a raise), and I just run a website.

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Falcons looking to lock up Norwood

June 12th, 2009 Comments off

Dan Parr of Pro Football Weekly reports that the Falcons plan to extend running back Jerious Norwood right after they work out a new deal for wide receiver Roddy White.

Earlier reports indicated that White is a high priority to get a new deal done in the near future. Both White and Norwood are entering the final years of their contracts. Due to the uncertainty of the future of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, however, it is unknown if the Falcons face any real danger of losing either player to free agency next year. Without an extension of the CBA before next March, both White and Norwood will become restricted free agents instead of unrestricted, and much easier for the team to retain.

Per Parr’s report, the Falcons see Norwood as a valuable commodity that can form a solid 1-2 punch with starting running back Michael Turner for years to come.

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