Here is our third podcast, that was meant to be a mini-episode. Ryan and I talked last night about the rumors that the Falcons were on the verge of acquiring a big time talent that would make the fan base go “Icky Balooky.”
Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that the Falcons may be among possible suitors for New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. The Falcons were linked to Umenyiora last week by La Canfora as potential destinations, but that was potentially nixed when the team agreed to a five-year deal with free agent pass rusher Ray Edwards on Friday. But according to La Canfora, the Falcons may still pursue Umenyiora despite the addition of Edwards.
The Giants gave Umenyiora permission to seek a trade earlier today, and reports indicate that they are seeking a first round pick in exchange for the seven-year veteran. But according to La Canfora’s sources, it’s possible that asking price may be reduced to a second or third round pick. Umenyiora is seeking a new contract after signing a seven-year deal at the end of the 2005 season, leaving two remaining years left on that deal.
Umenyiora, who turns 30 in November, is a two-time Pro Bowler coming off an 11.5-sack season with the Giants.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Dolphins left guard Justin Smiley is on the verge of being traded. He names the Falcons as one of several teams that are “in the market” for an interior linemen, speculating that they could be one of several possible destinations for Smiley if the Dolphins are successful in trading him.
The Falcons have shown considerable interest in some interior linemen during the draft process, scheduling a number of workouts with some centers. But it remains to be seen if the Falcons are in the market for a veteran linemen. Smiley signed with the Dolphins in 2008, but has been plagued by injuries since joining the team as well as going back to his days in San Francisco. Smiley hasn’t played a complete 16-game season since 2006.
According to league sources cited by Salguero, the Dolphins are likely to seek a third round pick in exchange for the 28-year old starter who hails from Ellabell, GA, not far from Savannah. If the team cannot trade him, then they could cut him, which likely hurts their leverage in trade talks.
Steve Lansdale of The Ranch Report.com says that uncited rumors about the Dallas Cowboys pursuing Falcons restricted free agent Tyson Clabo are unlikely according to an anonymous source.
The reasons why the Cowboys interest isn’t expected to be high is because of the high tender the Falcons placed on their offensive tackle. If a team were to attempt to sign him, the Falcons would receive a first round pick in terms of compensation.
According to Lansdale’s source, Clabo is a good fit in Dallas because of his versatility to play both guard and tackle, but would likely be viewed primarily as a reserve, making the compensation to acquire him even more prohibitive.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk shot down rumors from undisclosed sources that the Falcons were on the verge of acquiring Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Limas Sweed. Per the rumor, the Steelers are on the verge of trading Sweed after a disappointing sophomore season and their recent additions of Arnaz Battle and Antwaan Randle El at the position. A league source indicates the Falcons aren’t a possible destination.. The Falcons are content with their current depth chart at receiver, having re-signed Brian Finneran in early February and the return of Harry Douglas to the lineup after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweets that sources indicate that the Falcons may have some interest in free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals. Dansby, 28, is considered one of the top free agents available.
Dansby, having played inside linebacker for the Cardinals in their 3-4 scheme in recent seasons would likely move outside if he were to sign with the Falcons, a position he played earlier in his NFL career and during his career at Auburn. Dansby has recorded over 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons, also combining for 5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 9 passes defended, and 3 forced fumbles in that span.
Kelly reports that the Miami Dolphins are among the front runners for landing Dansby’s services.
Adam Caplan of Scout.com cites league sources that have named the Falcons among three teams (Browns and Seahawks are the other two) that could be active in the first few days of free agency which commences tonight at midnight.
That belief meshes with the early reports that the Falcons will dip early into free agency by signing Houston Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson. NFL.com’s Steve Wyche reported that “all indications” said that Robinson would wind up in Atlanta. Robinson is a native of Athens, GA, and reportedly the Falcons coaching staff have admired him for years. Robinson is considered one of the top cornerbacks available in a limited free agent market.
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.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports that there are rumors that John Abraham is a little bitter about his contract. Wyche cited Falcons teammates, not Abraham himself, as the source of these rumors.
Abraham has three years remaining on his contract that he signed with the team in 2006 which was a six-year deal worth $45 million. He has base salaries that combine for $19.5 million in the remaining three years.
Wyche cited Jared Allen’s contract as an instigator to Abraham’s alleged bitterness. Allen signed a six-year contract worth $73 million last spring. As part of his contract, Allen received $38 million over the first three years of his contract. Last season, Abraham finished with 16.5 sacks, while Allen only had 14.5 sacks. Allen was voted to the NFC’s Pro Bowl squad and named a 1st team All-Pro by the Associated Press, while Abraham received neither accolades.
Abraham, who just turned 31 this past May, has had issues with injuries in the past. He missed 8 games in 2006 with the Falcons, and 13 games combined in 2003 and 2004. Questions of Abraham’s health have arisen this off-season as the Falcons made efforts to significant limit his work in OTAs. Abraham has started every game each of the past two seasons.
Adam Caplan of Scout.com reports that the Falcons are among roughly a dozen teams that could have interest in recently released pass rusher Greg Ellis. Ellis was cut by the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday after eleven seasons with the team in which he recorded 77 sacks. Ellis has played the past few seasons as an outside linebacker in Dallas’s 3-4 scheme, while beginning his career as a defensive end.
Caplan reports that the Falcons could have interest in Ellis based off need and/or scheme fit.