Finally, some FA action in the ATL!!!

While not exactly on the same level as the Michael Turner signing last season, the Falcons have made a move.

Drum roll please!!!

Defensive end Chauncey Davis is in.

Defensive end Michael Montgomery is out.

Monty was set to visit today, but the Falcons and Davis’ agent, worked into the night to hammer out a four-year, $14 million deal.

I was working on “The Book on Montgomery” for the blog.

Since we don’t want let some good work go to waste, he’s what we
had on the would be visitor.

Three executives in personnel for NFL teams were asked by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to evaluate the Packers restricted free agent and here’s what they had to say about Montgomery:

“Can he make a team? Yeah. He’s probably a No. 4 end. You like his effort and all that stuff. He’s not a real talented kid. At one point I thought he might have an opportunity to go somewhere. But he’s just been OK. I haven’t been overly excited about him. He’ll get backup-type money. He’ll get decent money as a swing backup. He’s not great but he’s functional.”

Montgomery played last season at 270 pounds, but has been as heavy as 280. The Packers shift to a 3-4 kind of pushed him out the door. They are now looking for ends in the 290-plus range.

Davis is a welcomed return. He has been steady since being selected in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. He’s played in 63 games, 18 starts, 8 sacks and 7 fumbles recoveries. He really likes working with defensive line coach Ray Hamilton.

I told you all last night, not to buy into the Jim Leonhard rumors to the Falcons. That was just posturing. Everyone knew he was following Rex to the Jets.

Well, the Falcons’ deal appears to extremely fair.

The big question is will Davis get a chance to beat out Jamaal Anderson? He’s basically out played him — according to a statistical analysis and not a film coaching-style analysis.

Overwhelmed by this move? What’s the next move for the Falcons?

154 comments Add your comment

Rick

March 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

good move, I hope they give him a shot at starting, I kinda got that message from reading the story. All he really wants is the chance to start. Jamal is not going to cut it. I see the GM and staff putting his butt on the road if he does not look like an all pro in pre-season.

rob

March 3rd, 2009
12:38 pm

Good move by the Falcons..I trust the braintrust will fill all the holes on defense will young and aggressive talent..The 09 defense will be better than it was in 08..

Ernest

March 3rd, 2009
12:39 pm

Good move by the Falcons! The next free agent move they make will also shed insight on what they will do in the draft. We can probably eliminate a defensive lineman at this time.

Safeman

March 3rd, 2009
12:40 pm

I think they should go after Jason Taylor. Let him come in and compete for the starting job.

falcon21

March 3rd, 2009
12:41 pm

Overwhelmed, no but glad to keep Davis. I think he will beat out JA. Now maybe LB,SS or OL through FA. 1 or 2 of the positions filled would be nice.

Reno 911

March 3rd, 2009
12:42 pm

Davis has earned the spot. I’d bet we still draft a DE in rounds 3-5, if there’s one there that fits the scheme. Anderson is probably our #4 DE at this point. Sad to say, because he seems like a nice kid, but he just can’t set the edge or get upfield. At this point, Anderson needs to gain about 30 pounds and learn how to play inside and see if he can add value there. Otherwise, I think this is his last season.

Reno 911

March 3rd, 2009
12:43 pm

Sorry, meant to say draft a DT in rounds 3-5.

Selwyn

March 3rd, 2009
12:55 pm

Wait a while and try for Mike Montgomery again. I’ve seen this guy play live. Raw but very high potential. Poor man’s Julius Peppers

Dean T

March 3rd, 2009
12:59 pm

Great re-sign, he plays with great intensity. J. Anderson was great verse the run, tend to think he could have done a much better job verse Edge in the playoff lose if he was in there. He improved a lot from years 1 to 2 verse the run, maybe he’ll improve from years 2 to 3 verse the pass. If not, we still got Big trey Lewis coming back hopefully. Draft secondary then linebackers, sign LJ smith as TE, GO Falcs!!!

Son of Keith Brooking

March 3rd, 2009
1:03 pm

Glad to see Davis back. I always thought he should start. I can’t recall a time he came off the bench and didn’t cause a fumble or have a sack. He’s good, he’s aggressive, he’s young. But I really am worried about our defense next year. We need to sign a linebacker in free agency. There needs to be at least one old veteran on the team to be the vocal leader. I like the youth movement. I think it’s gonna eventually pay off. But next year our defense is gonna struggle. Even if we have a good draft, made two or three of those guys are gonna come out and have outstanding seasons. Rookies don’t just come into the league and become perfect immediately. I don’t know. I just wish we were making some more free agent moves. With the defense as it stands now, we’ll be lucky to win seven or eight games. We probably have the toughest schedule in the league next year…

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 3rd, 2009
1:10 pm

Good move! This move allows options in the draft. I think Davis wanted to stay in Atlanta (with Babs), which makes contract negotiations do-able. I think the same could be said about J. Phillips or S. Jones. TD is smart enough to wait (like Davis) and spend the proper money on a player instead of purchasing them overpriced. Watch what I tell You, one of two things will happen: We’re going to end up with either J. Phillips or S. Jones by holding out on contract talks; or, when a team hires one, we’ll end up with the other (either one is a good fit and both wants to play for the home team). Smart move TD.

Going after the remainder of the two, will also allow the Falcons to focus on cornerback and linebacker (both positions are deep in the draft). I was particularly interested in Yahoo’s version of the top ten DB’s in the draft. Boy-o-boy-o-boy, by the time the Falcons pick, eight of those fabulous DBs (if not all ten) should still be available. I mean You really can’t go wrong with Vontae Davis, Malcolm Jenkins, D.J. Moore, Alphonso Smith, Darius Butler, and Patrick Chung. Read the article, it’s sure to give You goose pimples: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=cnnsi-2009_bucky_brooks_02_19_dbs&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

I think I’ve finally captured TD’s strategy and I’m finally “buying-in” his concept. He has solidified the defense with returning players who are hungry and thirsty wor win, i.e., homeboys, with the exception of Brooking (but, even he was courted to return). Once that is complete (lets hope my theory is correct with the signing of Phillips or Jones) then We can shop for the remaining holes in the draft.

To answer your question D.Led (…next move for the Falcons?), I like:

Sean Jones, FA
Vontae Davis or Sean Smith, 1st pick
Jared Cook, 2nd pick
Clint Sintim, 3rd pick

All will start, day one! How You like them grits?

E-Roll

March 3rd, 2009
1:10 pm

D.O.L. – Any info on the recovery of Trey Lewis and is Stephen Nichols in the plans for LB for the new season?

President of Matt Diaz Fan Club

March 3rd, 2009
1:18 pm

Like Bradley said: this is a signature “Dimitroff move.” I really like it!

Deangelo Falls

March 3rd, 2009
1:20 pm

When are we going to get Sean Jones in here?

McRly?

March 3rd, 2009
1:21 pm

well… between Davis and Anderson, Davis is by far the better pass rusher . My Grandma could tell you that. But what i think is being left out here is that Anderson plays the run fairly well. No one ever really speaks on that, and I feel it’s only fair to throw that out there. Look at the games when Anderson was out… he was missed when dealing with the ground game. Is that what we expected from a #1 draft pick making all that Quan? No, we wanted and expected an all around player (er… well, Petrino did. But when SEC fans found out who we drafted and they all said a collective , “who?” you knew we were in bad shape. If people in your own conference haven’t heard of you, there’s generally a reason) but that ain’t exactly what i’m saying. I’m just saying that the man plays the run pretty well, and I could see a two-headed monster coming out of this… Anderson in a two-down scheme early in the game, then moving inside next to Babs when Davis comes in and takes the end position. Later in the game, when we have leads and more passing, more Davis. Simple as that. Unless, of course, Davis proves that he can be solid against the run (which he hasn’t been terrible, but not as good as Anderson). If that happens, then Davis takes the role outright. Them’s my two cents.

SeminoleWarrior

March 3rd, 2009
1:25 pm

Yes…we have our started at leftside defensive end. Davis is young and has improved each year as his time has increased. Working with Coach H will only improve his play; He and Babs make for a nice pair on the left side. Is there any word on the health status of Trey Lewis. And D Led, what do you think of Ron Brace at DT late in the first round?

???

March 3rd, 2009
1:27 pm

Will someone please explain to me how a player(Ward, Bucs) is signed to a undisclosed contract?

KC

March 3rd, 2009
1:37 pm

The CB market is thin in the draft this year. Outside of Alphonso Smith, who is short and didn’t run well, I didn’t see a starting CB on the field. Vontae Davis has good straight-ahead speed but terrible hips/feet. I like Malcolm Jenkins but he seemed slow and unathletic. I’d say we go the cheap veteran route for one more year and hope next year is better.

On the Davis move, I really like the move. We are now free to draft the best available prospect in the 1st round. Ideally, we’ll sign cheap vets at LB before the draft as well. I would love to add Cushing at LB. Cushing, Lofton, and Wire would be 3 excellent LBs.

tbhawksfan

March 3rd, 2009
1:37 pm

Nice to have Chauncey back. He made it clear that he wanted to start. TD must of at least guaranteed him a shot at starter for him to sign. What does that mean for Anderson? We have Abraham, Chauncey, Anderson, Babineaux, Biermann, Moorehead and maybe Trey Lewis if he makes it back.

Lofton is our signal caller on D. He filled that role last season, Smitty must have confidence in him.
What do we do at OLB? We have Wire and Nicolas. Do we look for a FA starter?

My strategy: Sign the best young SS FA. Sign another mid-level FA to add depth. Look for any FA good deals left.

Draft: OLB/CB/TE/OL/ILB/OL/DL

gdg73

March 3rd, 2009
1:44 pm

Is there any truth to the rumor, Mr. Ledbetter that the Chargers are willing to trade Antonio Cromartie for a 3rd round pick? If this is indeed true, I’d say pull the trigger and get him right now. If we got Cromartie and signed Sean Jones, I would call free agency a success.

Greg

March 3rd, 2009
1:46 pm

Davis was a gritty player, had some real toughness, and played hungry. If he continues to do so now that he’s been signed to the 4-year deal, this will be an OK move by the Birds. But remember: We could rarely get pressure on the QB last year from the d-line. We MUST upgrade the d-line and get some pass-rush!!!

row3

March 3rd, 2009
1:46 pm

What about OLB Angelo Crowell from Buffalo, are we getting him in for a visit?

marko

March 3rd, 2009
1:54 pm

I think Jamaal a good kid, and could be a pretty good player. If he was’nt so young I’d be more down on him. He signed at Arkansas as a wide receiver, and only played defensive end a couple of seasons before we drafted him. Was it his fault that the Falcon’s used the eighth pick to draft a project. I think a lot of fans forget that Rody White and Michael Jenkens were considered bust only a short time ago, and that Patrick Kearny did’nt look much like a super star his first two seasons either. Any way lighten up a bit Jamaal’s a nice boy. His momma loves him for christ sake.

SeminoleWarrior

March 3rd, 2009
2:01 pm

Crowell has a history of knee issues. We have two picks in the fifth round that could be used on safeties with good production in major conferences. FS/SS Otis Wiley and FS/SS Courtney Greene. Both had off-years as seniors but the bodies of work over the college career make for an interesting series of picks.

SeminoleWarrior

March 3rd, 2009
2:04 pm

A fair point Marko. One more year with Coach Hamilton will help Anderson but you have to admit, the doubts are creeping in. If Coach H can’t improve him next season, we may have to let him move on.

hawesg

March 3rd, 2009
2:06 pm

With Trey Lewis and now Davis returning, I think it’s time to focus on the back seven. There are no good CBs in the draft (or on the Falcons roster). Leign Boddin or McFadden should be a top priority. Then you can have a draft with Delmas (RD1), OLB (RD2), TE (RD3). Then scour the FA trash heap for depth.

Curious

March 3rd, 2009
2:07 pm

Your caption under the picture of Davis refers to him as the first Falcon to re-sign. Didn’t you guys report last week that Wire resigned?

falc007

March 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

OT: in regard to Jamaal Anderson, as some others have pointed out….give the kid a break. very little experience and only 23 years old i believe with only a few years at d-line in college.

TD and MS have him here for good reason…..

“trust the team” as in new team…

expecting a couple new faces but….

looking forward to the draft as never before!!!

cutter

March 3rd, 2009
2:24 pm

I am so amused by these people that are so quick to call a player a bust most of whom have probably never worn a jock strap in their entire lives. Jamaal is a young football player that will develop into a good football player. I think it is safe to say Dimitroff would not have drafted him as high as he was drafted espically when you look at his body of work in college but his knowledge and numbers are improving each season. TD says he has an upside to him and I believe him.

falc007

March 3rd, 2009
2:24 pm

curious’ just a fwiw, Wire wasn’t a free agent and was resigned before free agency to the best of my knowledge.

p.s. congrats Falcons on resigning Davis…i liked the Fox too, but every battle has it’s casualties and 24+mil was quite a tag for a one year starter on a D that finished in the bottom tier of the league.

bring on the draft and the daft!e

D Money

March 3rd, 2009
2:25 pm

I like the pick up but I would still like to get another pass-rushing DE. Biermann is more of a DE that stands up— more like a 3-4 linebacker at 6′3, 240. Plus, Abraham hasn’t been the poster child for staying healthy. With Trey Lewis back in the line up we will definitely stop the run AND get a pass rush.

The only other pick up that I hope they get from free agency is either a SS or CB. We can’t have Houston, and a couple of rookies in the secondary. The teams that we’re going to face this year will test us!

???

March 3rd, 2009
2:28 pm

I guess Im not the only one who doesn’t know. Now I don’t feel so bad.lol

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

March 3rd, 2009
2:33 pm

Basically??? Davis had more energy, more sacks, fumble recoveries, heart. etc., etc. Good to keep him since he knows the scheme and will have a second year to develop. To be honest with you…his energy makes up for his lack of elite size and speed. Given what we have with Anderson (#98) and had with Brooking (finally out of here), I have come to appreciate a high effort motor that actually gives a damn about getting the man down to the ground.

However D-Led, what will we do at the CB spot that Foxworth vacated?

row3

March 3rd, 2009
2:36 pm

Top remaining free agents, Steve Wyche says Harvey Dahl is worth giving up a second round pick for. Do the falcons have a way of protecting him other than a contract tender

gdg73

March 3rd, 2009
2:43 pm

Ledbetter, is there any truth tothe rumor that San Diego is shopping Antonio Cromartie for a 3rd round pick? If so, I would snatch him up in a heartbeat and have a big fat contract waiting on him in Atlanta when he got here.

Dawg93

March 3rd, 2009
2:44 pm

cutter – Jamaal Anderson was not drafted by Dimitroff, he was drafted by McKay while Petrino was head coach.

I’d love to see Sean Jones or Jermaine Phillips in a Falcons uniform.

Cameron

March 3rd, 2009
2:48 pm

I like the move of bringing Davis back. He will not take Anderson’s position though. Anderson has only played DE for three years now. He got by on athleticism in college. He will become productive and keep his job this year, or he will be moved to DT and then released when the season is over. I still think we should look at bringing in Jermaine Phillips or Sean Jones at safety. I do not like the safeties in the draft, except for Delmas. Unfortuantely, Delmas is going to go way ahead fo where he should, just because he is the best one available. We need to add a safety in free agency. Everywhere else, we can build through the draft. No CBs are available that will be cost effective. No DEs, or DTs. Draft Cushing, Jerry, or Delmas at 24 and I will be happy. PLEASE do not draft Pettigrew. Too much help can be found for the TE position through other means (i.e. FA, later rounds of the draft, Peele).

Falconboy

March 3rd, 2009
2:49 pm

gdg73 I agree 100%. Cromartie is young and will be a star for years to come. I think a secondary Cromartie, Chevis, Houston, Coleman, and maybe Decoud would give us one of the better secondaries in the NFC South. If we can get it done for a 3rd rounder we absolutely should.

JG

March 3rd, 2009
2:53 pm

Congrats C Davis! Good Motor and Good Value!
We still need a Defensive Tackle and a Sick Safety,
Remember the great teams have great Safety’s!
Ronnie Lott, Troy Palamonu( Sorry for spelling), Lynch back in the Tampa Superbowl days, & Ed Reed. I would also love to get that Kid Clay Matthews, we was born to play. Anyone who walks onto USC and delivers like he did, can play for my team!

Cameron

March 3rd, 2009
2:56 pm

Please, please, please do not draft Clay Matthews.

Reno 911

March 3rd, 2009
2:56 pm

I’m right next to JG on the Clay Matthews band wagon.

Cameron

March 3rd, 2009
3:01 pm

Stirg d’Nahsif:
Sean Jones, FA
Vontae Davis or Sean Smith, 1st pick
Jared Cook, 2nd pick
Clint Sintim, 3rd pick

CLint Sintim will be long gone by round three. I like Sean Jones, good tackler and coverage guy. Jared Cook is a receiver first, receiver second, and receiver third. The Falcons want a complete TE that can block and catch. Cook is not that guy. Davis will be done by 24 and Smith is a reach at 24. Remember the last CB we reached on, a guy named Jimmy Williams.

Cameron

March 3rd, 2009
3:06 pm

Please do not bring in Jason Taylor either. Too costly and unpredictable. The good news is that Dimitroff would never do this, he is way to smart. He has a plan on building a winner, with sustatinability, and is sticking to that plan.

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 3rd, 2009
3:11 pm

Yes, Cameron, I remember drafting Jimmy Williams; but TD was doing the drafting then and I’m almost certain Jimmy Williams would not have made it through “The Matrix”.

What’s wrong with drafting a receiving TE, like Cook. We got enough blocking TEs, that’s obvious. Cook will get it done, blocking and catching.

I used those names, like Clint Sintim, to illustrate the best player available. Those names are the ones analyst are liking to be in the deeper rounds. If not Smith, Cook, or Sintim, then the best available at those positions. I think You get what I’m saying.

Deangelo Falls

March 3rd, 2009
3:17 pm

Free Agent Wish list:
Sean Jones
Derrick Brooks (of course only if the price is right – don’t you know he wants to stick it to TB)
Owen Daniels (depending on compensation)

Dawg93

March 3rd, 2009
3:20 pm

Agree with Cameron re: Jason Taylor. He’d be a very expensive band-aid at DE at this point. And it seems to go against Dimitroff’s philosophy anyway, so I can’t see him making that move.

Falcon Devil

March 3rd, 2009
3:26 pm

Keep an eye out this summer for LB Robert James, drafted late last year out of ASU. He was on IR all year so I have no idea how he is progressing, but I witnessed personally his play making ability at ASU. He doesnt have crazy size or speed but he was constantly making huge plays and finding the ball. A natural football player first, athlete second.

marko

March 3rd, 2009
3:30 pm

To continue with the Kerney, Anderson comparison, Kerney had five sacks his first two seasons. While that’s three more than Jamaal can claim it’s hardly pro bowl numbers. Season three Patrick scored twelve sacks; only then did people around the leauge start asking who is that guy anyway. This will be jamaal’s third season let’s hope history repeats. meantime give the kid credit for playing the run pretty well.

JG

March 3rd, 2009
3:31 pm

What is wrong with Clay Matthews? If you read up on him and what the Scouts project that he will eventually surpass the other two USC Linebackers coming out of the draft with him. Isn’t that what we want? Someone who can continue to grow and get better? His Father played in the NFL till he was over 40. We could use a strong anchor like that next to Lofton. Good Genes. You probably like Meangelo Hall.

utmsu

March 3rd, 2009
3:31 pm

Great signing! Not only is Chauncey a good solid player but one of very high moral fiber and character. The kind of person the Falcons need to have and keep around.