It seems like the Falcons and free agent running back Jason Snelling are playing a game of cat and mouse. Early reports over the weekend were that the Falcons were hard at work trying to retain Snelling, but the free agent was intent on testing the market. It seemed like a few days ago he was very close to signing with the St. Louis Rams, but that proved to be untrue. They opted to sign ex-Falcons Jerious Norwood. Then the New York Giants came calling, but that was mainly a ruse to try and force Ahmad Bradshaw’s hand. Now, reports serviced yesterday that Snelling was in Kansas City to work out for them.
The clock is ticking on whether or not Snelling can get a good free agent offer. Signed free agents will begin practicing today around the league, and it’s likely that the market will slow to a virtual crawl after this point in most cities. Thrice now, Snelling has been spurned by other teams that have shown interest in him, but ultimately settled on other options. Part of that could be that Snelling’s contract demands are too high, part of it may be those teams ultimately preferred other options.
The early buzz on Jacquizz Rodgers has been positive in camp, and it’s possible that the Falcons have moved on past Snelling while he’s put his feelers out in free agency. If that’s true, it would be a mistake. While Rodgers could potentially handle the third down role this year, keeping Snelling means he doesn’t have to. The Falcons won’t have to rely on him to be that guy, instead they can work him slowly into the lineup and pick and choose his spots. When it comes to protecting their franchise quarterback, it makes sense for the Falcons to put their best foot forward, which is Snelling as Turner’s top backup.