Archive

Posts Tagged ‘trade’

MJD to Falcons doesn’t make a lot of sense

August 22nd, 2012 1 comment
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Maurice Jones-Drew

Yesterday, news broke that Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew following some inflammatory comments by Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, was open to a trade. And it caused an uproar, as well it should because MJD as he is affectionately known, is the Jaguars best player and it made a lingering holdout into a major drama.

And as is often the case, dots began to be connected for the possibility that if MJD was traded, he could find his way north from Jacksonville to Atlanta. On one hand, it makes sense. His former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is here, and current head coach Mike Smith along with several other assistants currently in Atlanta were also in Jacksonville in 2006 when he was first drafted.

Much of the off-season talk in Atlanta has centered around whether or not Michael Turner is past his prime. I for one, fall in line as one of those people that believe Turner is well on the downside of his career. Getting a player like MJD, the league’s top rusher from a year ago certainly would be an upgrade at the running back position. MJD is younger than Turner as well as more explosive and versatile.

Even if you can get past the fantasy that the Jaguars would trade MJD, which is an extremely high hurdle to jump. Even as of this morning, the MJD camp is backing off their trade demands simply because they know they’re not going to get them. Jacksonville is not going to trade their best player. But you can never say never, so let’s assume that Jones-Drew is being shopped. It still doesn’t make too much sense for the Falcons.

Firstly, while Jones-Drew is younger than Turner by about 3 years, they have nearly identical career workloads as far as rushing attempts go, with MJD having 67 more than Turner. When counting carries up until the age of 27, Jones is fairly high on the list particularly for modern running backs. Among players drafted in the past decade, he’s only exceeded by Steven Jackson in terms of touches before the age of 28. The point being MJD is not as spry a 27 as most.

He had knee surgery prior to 2011. Clearly, his performance last year showed that he suffered no major ill effects from that. But what is interesting is throughout the 2011 season, MJD was limited in most of the Jaguars’ Wednesday practices. It was likely to keep him well-rested to play down the stretch (where an ankle injury bothered him). It’s a practice that the Falcons do as well, but largely with their 30+ year old veterans like Tony Gonzalez, Todd McClure, and John Abraham. It’s a red flag that indicates that his body may be breaking down sooner rather than later.

The other main issue is the price tag, both when it comes to what the Falcons would need to give up to secure MJD from Jacksonville, as well as any extension he would want. The reason this holdout began is because he wants a raise. And he likely wants to be among the highest paid running backs in the league, after seeing the big extensions signed by Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, Arian Foster, etc. over the past year or so. Not only would the Falcons have to part ways with a high round pick, but then also pay a high premium in salary to secure MJD.

The Falcons are moving towards a pass-first offense, as they should. Centering the offense around Matt Ryan in the hopes it elevates his game is the team’s best chance to win a championship in the immediate future. So going out and giving up what they would need to get MJD doesn’t make much sense in that context. Like it has become the case in most NFL cities, the running back is becoming a complementary position in Atlanta. And there’s no need to ship a first or second round pick plus pay $40-50 million to a complementary player, even one as capable as MJD.

The bottom line is that MJD would be a short-term solution that requires long-term commitment. The Falcons have given away far too many premium picks over the past three drafts to merit doing it a fourth year in a row, especially for a player that is on the verge of hitting the same wall that many accuse Turner to be currently parked in front of.

Categories: Features Tags: , , ,

Falcons move back in Round 3

April 27th, 2012 Comments off

The Falcons made a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to move back seven spots in the third round. The Falcons swapped the 84th overall pick for the Ravens’ 91st overall pick, and picked up Baltimore’s 5th round (164th overall) in exchange.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Falcons deal 7th rounder for Samuel

April 25th, 2012 Comments off

US PRESSWIRE

Asante Samuel picks off Ryan

Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that the Falcons have agreed to a three-year $18.5 million contract with Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, and subsequently agreed to send a sixth round pick to the Eagles in exchange for him. UPDATE: D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC tweets that the Falcons in fact gave up a seventh round pick, not their sixth round pick. The Eagles receive the 229nd overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Samuel had two years left on his contract with the Eagles in which he would have been paid $21.5 million, but in order to make the trade happen with the Falcons, restructured to reduce that figure to $18.5 million, and add a third year to make him signed through 2014 with Atlanta. Samuel is widely viewed as one of the top corners in the NFL, leading the league over the past six seasons with 39 combined interceptions. In 14 games with the Eagles in 2011, he had 3 interceptions and 10 pass breakups, his lowest totals for each since 2004. In 2003, Samuel was a fourth round pick of the New England Patriots. He played five seasons with the Patriots before signing a six-year, $56 million deal with the Eagles prior to the 2008 season. Samuel is a four-time Pro Bowler, making the squad for four consecutive years (2007-10) and led the league in interceptions in 2006 and 2009.

This trade now leaves the Falcons with only five picks for this upcoming draft. The team already dealt their first and fourth round picks as part of last year’s Julio Jones trade, leaving them with only four of their original 2012 draft picks. They also received a compensatory seventh round choice a month ago.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Grimes signs tender while Falcons talk trade

April 24th, 2012 Comments off

The team announced today that cornerback Brent Grimes signed his one-year franchise tender today. Grimes will now have the $10.281 million salary he is slated to receive this year fully guaranteed as a result.

Grimes is coming off two rock-solid seasons, including a Pro Bowl appearance following 2010. He was plagued by a knee injury late this past season, causing him to miss 4 games. The team placed the franchise tag on Grimes just prior to the start of free agency in March when long-term contract talks broke down.

The news of Grimes signing the tender is interesting given that news broke this morning per FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer that the Falcons had entered trade talks with the Philadelphia Eagles over cornerback Asante Samuel. Samuel, who turned 31 in January, is expected to be dealt prior to this Thursday’s draft according to reports. The Eagles made big acquisitions for cornerbacks last summer in acquiring Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and rumors have been rampant ever since that Samuel was on his way out. Samuel is due $21.5 million over the next two seasons he is under contract, but it is likely a deal for him won’t be struck until he reduces that number. Samuel is still widely considered one of the top corners in the league. He has collected 19 interceptions in the past three seasons, and 39 in the past six seasons, both being the highest in the league in their respective spans. He has a career total of 45 of nine seasons, the last four with the Eagles after five with the New England Patriots where he collected two Super Bowl rings.

How Grimes re-signing impacts any potential trade discussions is unknown. It’s possible their negotiations with the Eagles was meant to be leverage to get Grimes to sign on the dotted line, and now potential trade discussions are dead. Or it’s possible that a Samuel trade is still on the table.

Categories: News Tags: , , , ,

Julio Jones: The Unfair Rebuttal

March 13th, 2012 1 comment
AP Photo from Yahoo! Sports

Jones stiff arms a defender

The good people at The Falcoholic provide one of the best Falcon blogs out there. Everyday you can read something interesting in order to get your daily Falcons fix. So this is by no means meant to slight that site or the people that write for them.

But recently, one of their writers, one Caleb Rutherford wrote an interesting piece about Julio Jones trade, which has been a topic of division among the Falcon fan base since the day it was done. Some view that the Falcons gave up too much. Others view that the trade was well worth it. And probably even more, no longer care and just have learned to live with it. I fall into the former group.

One of the problems with disliking the trade for Julio Jones is that you are accused of disliking the player that is Julio Jones. And for me, that coudln’t be further from the truth. I like Julio Jones the player. I like him a lot. But at the same time, I’m not going to make him out to be bigger or better than he actually is. I think Julio Jones is going to become a very good NFL player and one of the better receivers in the NFL over the next several years. But even if that occurs, I still do not think the trade was worth what the Falcons gave up.

One of the problems I have with Mr. Rutherford’s article is that some of the arguments he made supporting the trade I think are misleading if not outright false.

Read more…

Categories: Features Tags: , , ,

Cap casualties could help Falcons

February 24th, 2012 Comments off
ICON SMI

Marcus McNeill

Every year just before the start of free agency, you have a number of veteran players get cut by their respective teams because they are either too old, too hurt, or too expensive to keep. These players are often labeled cap casualties, and can supplement the normal unrestricted free agent pool that we see every March.

The Falcons will have their own players that could be dumped in this fashion. Michael Turner, Ovie Mughelli, Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, and Dunta Robinson are all players that are under contract and the topic has at least been broached that they have seen their last games as Falcons. In all likelihood the Falcons will keep most if not all of those players simply because they don’t need the cap space as reports indicate roughly $30 million available to the Falcons. And for those that are underachieving such as Baker, Jerry, and Robinson, there is some hope that the changes in the coaching staff can breath new life into their careers in Atlanta.

Here are some names that have been bandied about in recent weeks as potential cap cuts from other teams that could at least be interesting to the Falcons. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of players that could be cut, but just some more of the prominent names and fits I could find. A hat tip goes to Jason La Canfora of NFL.com and Brian McIntyre of Football Outsiders that were my primary sources.

Running Back

The Falcons appear intent on keeping Michael Turner, so this doesn’t appear to be an area that they will likely address. But if the Falcons were to part ways with Turner and look for a veteran physical back to team with Jacquizz Rodgers, Brandon Jacobs (Giants) could be a possibility. Jacobs at this point in his career is a part-time player, but as he showed against the Falcons in the playoffs and down the stretch, he can be very effective in that role.

Wide Receiver

If you could rewind five years, this list would feature some of the league’s top wide receivers with Hines Ward (Steelers), Chad Ochocinco (Patriots), Lee Evans (Ravens), and Donald Driver (Packers) all being potentially on the chopping block this off-season. The Falcons have already been linked to Ward by some outlets, but he is a shell of his former self. He along with Driver could make effective veteran slot options if the Falcons were to lose Harry Douglas via free agency, but neither offer as much value as Douglas does at these points in their careers. Ochocinco and Evans have a bit more left in the tank, and could definitely help the Falcons add a third wideout that can get vertical. Evan was supposed to serve that same role with the Ravens last year, but only caught 4 passes in 9 games. Ochocinco couldn’t handle the complex Patriots offense (15 catches), but he still has enough skill to be a starter on some team in this league. And playing in a decidedly less complex offense like the one likely to be employed in Atlanta could help him improve his production.

Tight End

Dirk Koetter’s offense makes ample use of the H-back position, a role that would likely be currently filled by Michael Palmer. But the Falcons could potentially upgrade that spot by going after one of these names in Chris Cooley (Redskins), Dallas Clark (Colts), or Kellen Winslow (Buccaneers). Cooley and Winslow are both dealing with knee injuries that could definitely limit their effectiveness. Clark was practically a no-show for much of the Colts season with the loss of Peyton Manning. Cooley and Clark could work very well in an H-back role, being split out in space much like a slot receiver. Winslow if he can rebound potentially offers the team an heir apparent to Tony Gonzalez, who is expected to retire after this season.

Offensive Tackle

The Falcons have already been linked to Marcus McNeill, who could be cut by the Chargers due to lingering back and neck problems. Injury concerns and age will also likely cause the Packers to cut Chad Clifton as well. While McNeill will only be 28, his injuries probably make his body seem closer that of the 35-year old Clifton. Clifton is not a long-term fix, but as a one-year solution even if he only played half the season would be 8 better games than what the Falcons have gotten out of the position in recent years. Also in the mix could be Jason Smith, who has disappointed in St. Louis, but might still be a salvageable talent. Right tackles Jammal Brown (Redskins) and Winston Justice (Eagles) might also be cut this off-season due to making more money than their production merits. Brown was once a solid left tackle for the Saints, before injuries have sapped him the past few years.

Offensive Guard

Steve Hutchinson (Vikings), Eric Steinbach (Browns), and Chris Kemoeatu (Steelers) all could be cut. All three are left guards, but could offer a quick fix at the right guard position for the Falcons. Hutchinson was the top guard in the league for years, but at age 34 might only have another year left in the tank. Kemoeatu could offer a beefy run blocker, but struggled through this past year with a bum knee and penalties. Steinbach missed all of this past year with a back injury, which never bodes well for offensive linemen.

Defensive End

While it seems doubtful, the Colts could part ways with Dwight Freeney. If so, Freeney still offers a lot of value as a pass rusher. But if the Falcons are content to let John Abraham walk via free agency, replacing him with a 32-year old Freeney would not be a significant infusion of youth. Aaron Kampman has been injured a lot in Jacksonville, but could provide a veteran presence to the rotation if the Falcons were to lose Abraham and potentially Kroy Biermann as well. Darryl Tapp (Eagles) is a good run defender and decent pass rusher that can be an effective starter if need be, but ideally is a No. 3 end on most teams.

Defensive Tackle

It doesn’t seem like the Lions will part ways with 31-year old Corey Williams, but it’s been rumored. He would be a good pickup to the Falcons rotation, as he’s shined over the years as a situational rusher on third downs. Tommy Kelly (Raiders) is the same age and has been a solid pass rusher over the years (14.5 sacks combined the past two years) that could be a really good asset in nickel situations for the Falcons. His teammate John Henderson could beef up the rotation as a stout run defender. He’s on his last legs, but could potentially provide more value as a run defender on early downs, which could allow a young guy like Corey Peters to do what he does best: rush the quarterback.

Linebacker

The Panthers might part ways with Thomas Davis, who is coming off three ACL tears. If he manages to even play in 2012, it might be unprecedented achievement. But Davis offers much of what this team needs at the linebacker position, which is someone that can help combat the quality tight ends in the league, and in this division. The Panthers were the league’s worst team with defending the tight end in 2011, and a big reason was the absence of Davis. Gary Brackett (Colts) might be cut if the Colts do intend to employ a different scheme. He would be a nice pickup for the Falcons if they lose Curtis Lofton in the middle.

Defensive Back

A number of veterans are likely to get cut here. Domonique Foxworth (Ravens) is a former Falcon that has struggled to stay healthy in Baltimore, but is only 28 and still might have some years left ahead of him. Ron Bartell (Rams) offers that big, physical corner that Mike Nolan’s defenses tend to prefer but he’ll have to prove he can stay healthy. Shawntae Spencer (49ers) played under Nolan in San Francisco, and he along with Terence Newman (Cowboys) and Marcus Trufant (Seahawks) are veterans that could help out at nickel. But it remains to be seen if any of those guys would be better options for the Falcons than just re-signing a player like Kelvin Hayden. Cedric Griffin (Vikings) is fast and physical and could be a nice pickup.

As for safeties, Michael Huff (Raiders) is a former teammate of Griffin’s at Texas, that also brings a lot of speed and athletic ability to that position. He could be a nice pickup as a replacement and potential upgrade over Thomas DeCoud at free safety.

It’s also worth mentioning that while they aren’t expected to be cut, cornerback Asante Samuel (Eagles) and defensive end Osi Umenyiora (Giants) appear headed for the trading block. Considering the Falcons have a finite amount of draft picks, it’s doubtful they would get heavily involved in courting either, particularly Samuel. The Falcons defense prides itself on being physical, and Samuel is anything but that as a cornerback. But he is still one of the premier ball-hawks in the league, and coupling him with a successfully re-signed Brent Grimes could be a potent mix. Umenyiora might be a bit more up the Falcons alley. He’s 30, which makes him a few years younger than either Freeney or Abraham and thus probably has a bit more left in the tank. The issue with him is whether he can give the Falcons a full slate of games. He missed 7 games this past year with injury. Also, Osi isn’t exactly known for his ability to defend the run. The same could have been said for John Abraham prior to joining the Falcons, and he improved, so that might not be as big an obstacle as initially perceived.

FalcFans Podcast – Icky Balooky Episode

August 18th, 2011 Comments off

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.”

Read more…

Categories: Podcast Tags: , ,

Falcons still interested in Osi?

August 1st, 2011 Comments off

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.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Should the Falcons trade Jenkins?

June 15th, 2011 1 comment
Icon Sports Media, Inc.

Michael Jenkins

ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas lists Falcons wideout Michael Jenkins as a player that could be offered up via trade once the lockout ends. It’s no secret that Jenkins future in Atlanta is tenuous when the team paid a king’s ransom to move up in the draft to take Julio Jones with the sixth overall pick. But does that mean that Jenkins should be gone as soon as possible?

What can the Falcons get for Jenkins? Last year, a number of wide receivers changed teams, but very few of them did so for premium value. Looking over those trades, probably the best the Falcons can hope for is a 5th round pick. That’s what the Jets gave up to get Santonio Holmes. The Bucs traded a 6th round pick for Reggie Brown, and the Chargers and Rams traded sevenths for Patrick Crayton and Mark Clayton, respectively. Honestly, I think it’s much more likely that the Falcons would have to be willing to settle for a sixth or seventh round pick. Holmes and Brown were traded prior to the 2010 draft, and Clayton and Crayton were traded in September. Considering the lockout may end at some point this summer, it’s likely that it’s going to be closer to the value given up for the latter pair rather than the former.

Is that a worthwhile trade for the Falcons? I would think Jenkins is more valuable than a sixth round pick next year. Even if he’s playing third fiddle to Jones and Roddy White, Jenkins is still probably going to catch 30-50 passes this year. That seems a lot more valuable than a late round pick next year.

Categories: Features Tags: , ,

Falcons could be aggressive in first round

April 28th, 2011 Comments off

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweeted earlier today that the Falcons are looking to move up high in the first round of the draft tonight, if the right player is there. The Falcons are looking to move up into the Top 10 to get one of the explosive receivers: A.J. Green or Julio Jones, or possibly cornerback Patrick Peterson. It has been rumored for some time that the Falcons have been interested in moving up in the draft, but those rumors have picked up considerable steam in the past few days due to reports from SI’s Peter King, Glazer, and others.

Trade rumors have the Falcons talking with Arizona (No. 5) and Cleveland (No. 6) as potential trade partners. It is not known what the Falcons are planning to give up, but it seems likely that they will require dealing next year’s No. 1 pick to move up that high.

Categories: Draft Central Tags: ,