Falcons to lean heavily on NFL draft

Free agency has been a real big yawner here in the ATL.

The Falcons biggest offseason move so far has been to re-sign defensive end Chauncey Davis.

Here’s the breakdown on Davis’ four –year, $14 million contract. He received a $3 million signing bonus and has base salaries of $2 million in 2009, $2.6 million in 2010, $3 million in 2011 and $3.4 in 2012.

The $3 million signing bonus accounts for $750,000 on the cap each year of the contract giving Davis’ salary cap numbers of $2.75 million, $3.35, $3.75 and $4.15.

The Falcons free agent shopping list is short. They want a pass-catching tight end and a reserve offensive lineman.


They still may get the L.J. Smith and Brett Romberg deals done today. Romberg has fired his agent, Drew Rosenhaus and is in the middle of switching representation.

The Falcons approach to free agency reveals that they will address their secondary and linebacker units in the draft, which will be held April 25 and 26.

They still have to replace Lawyer Milloy. Right now, Thomas DeCoud and Jamaal Fudge would be competing for that spot.

They also have to replace cornerback Domonique Foxworth. They are placing a lot of stock in the return of Von Hutchins, who missed last season with a broken foot.

Hutchins is more of a nickel back. His return would free up Chevis Jackson to compete for Foxworth’s spot against Brent Grimes, David Irons and the draft pick(s).

The linebacker unit is in better shape with the re-signing of Coy Wire. He was starting at strongside for Michael Boley at the end of last season. Stephen Nicholas appears ready for his chance to win the weakside spot.

Taking a look around the NFC South, it has been pretty darn busy down in Tampa Bay. They are re-vamping their offense and picked up running Derrick Ward and tight end Kellen Winslow II after losing out in the Albert Haynesworth sweepstakes.

New Orleans re-signed linebacker Jonathan Vilma, which was their main goal.

Carolina has been relatively quiet after re-signing Jordan Gross and slapping the franchise tag on Julius Peppers.

Here’s a look at how the conference is doing in the offseason, player procurement business:

ATLANTA FALCONS
MAJOR PICKUPS:
OT Will Svitek
PLAYERS RETAINED:
P Michael Koenen, franchise tag
DE Chauncey Davis re-signed with the Falcons. He received a four-year, $14 million contract. $3 million signing bonus.
LB Coy Wire
LB Tony Gilbert re-signed with the Falcons.
TE Justin Peelle
RG Harvey Dahl, 2nd round tender
RT Tyson Clabo, 2nd round tender
C-G Ben Wilkerson, 0ne-year, $535,000
RB Jason Snelling re-signed.
CB Brent Grimes re-signed.
DB Antoine Harris re-signed.
DT Jason Jefferson, re-signed
S Jamaal Fudge, re-signed
PLAYES LOST
LB Michael Boley: Giants; $25 million, five years.
LB Keith Brooking: Cowboys; $6 million, $2.5 guaranteed, three-years
CB Domonique Foxworth: Ravens; $27.2 million, four years, $16.5 million guaranteed.
DT Grady Jackson; UFA Lions; $8 million, three years.
LT Todd Weiner (retired).

CAROLINA PANTHERS
MAJOR PICKUPS:
None
PLAYERS RETAINED:
LT Jordan Gross
DE Julius Peppers, franchise tag
PLAYERS LOST
C Geoff Hangartner (Buffalo)
T Frank Omiyale (Chicago)
OL Jeremy Bridges (released)
WR D.J. Hackett (released)
RB Nick Goings (released)

TAMAPA BAY BUCCANEERS
MAJOR PICKUPS:
LB Niko Koutouvides (Denver)
RB Derrick Ward (Giants)
TE Kellen Winslow II (Cleveland)
K Mike Nugent (Jets)
PLAYERS RETAINED:
WR Antonio Bryant
S Jermaine Phillips
S Will Allen
WR Michael Clayton
WR Cortez Hankton
TE Jerramy Stevens
PLAYERS LOST
LB Derrick Brooks (released)
RB Warrick Dunn (released)
CB Phillip Buchanon (Detroit)
DT Jovan Haye (Tennessee)(
LB Cato June (released)
QB Jeff Garcia (released)
WR Joey Galloway (released)
WR Ike Hilliad (released)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
MAJOR PICKUPS:
CB Jabari Greer ( Buffalo)
PLAYERS RETAINTED
LB Jonathan Vilma
OT Jon Stinchcomb
WR Devery Henderson
LB Troy Evans
PLAYERS LOST:
RB Deuce McAllister (released)
WR David Patten (released)

Who’s winning the offeseason game of roster building in the NFC South?

142 comments Add your comment

gdg73

March 9th, 2009
9:14 am

It really doesn’t matter who makes the most moves, it all comes down to who made the smarter moves. That won’t be clear for a while. On to the Falcons, while I feel that CB, S, and LB are priorities in the draft, we most definitely better look for some QUALITY players at the DT position. After Babineaux, nobody impresses me at the UT position. At NT, we better draft someone, albeitin the later rounds, to act as insurance just in case Trey is slow in making it back to 100%. I didn’t trust our colletion of DTs going into last year and I don’t trust them now. We never got a consistent push up the middle. As far as putting pressure on the QB, we were a one man show (Abe) with Chauncey and Babs helping out on occassion. I believe Chauncey will win the starting DE job. If Jamal Anderson doesn’t show us anything at DT (if he is switched), his time won’t be long here. He better find Chuck Smith quick, fast and in a hurry. Just look at what he did for Chauncey.

Mitun

March 9th, 2009
9:16 am

hopefully, Atlanta Falcons could try to move up in the draft to get DT B.J. Raji from Boston College.

hawesg

March 9th, 2009
9:18 am

So we are relying on Von Hutchins. Yikes. There aren’t enough good draft picks to fill all the needs on defense. Coy Wire? The guy’s never been a consistent and healthy starter in his career. But I’m sure that will change now that he’s in his 30s. LJ Smith? I hope Matt Ryan is taking out life insurance, because Smith doesn’t block.

Dimitroff has been given a lot of slack because his moves worked out last year. But was it HIS moves or Smith’s coaching that created a decent offensive line and a bend don’t break defense? If Sam Baker turns out to be a physical bust because of his back then his 2008 draft is only good (considering he had the third pick and gave up picks to get Baker).

The Falcon’s defense worked because the veterans knew how to step up at the key moments (see the Minnesota game) and because they just plain got lucky. But I’m sure Wire, Nicholas and Fudge will strike terror in Drew Brees, Derrick Ward and Steve Smith.

Poor McKay

March 9th, 2009
9:48 am

Leigh Bodden and James Smith. Stop drinking your own bath water TD, bring in some young & experienced vets at DB.

cajdawg

March 9th, 2009
10:00 am

I understand the moves to not sign Brooking, Malloy and Grady Jackson. They are (were) aging and costly.

I could understand not signing Foxworth, if they had a coherent followup decision. So far they haven’t signed any “tier one or tier two” free agent corners. I’m not thrilled relying on an injured Von Hutchins and Chevis Jackson and/or Brent Grimes and/or rookie corners. They may pick a corner off of someone’s trash heap, this worked with Foxworth, but doesn’t always work.

I don’t understand the “falling out with Michael Boley”, for whatever reason they didn’t like him. They kept playing him at strong side and he is better suited for weakside anyway. He could be an All Pro next year.

Dimitroff will have to hit a grand slam in the draft, assuming Trey Lewis is healthy and starts, Decoud starts and Nicholas starts, the Falcons still need:

1)Starting Linebacker
2)Two backup linebackers
2)Backup safety for ST
3)Backup DT
4)Corner

I’m sure they will sign a couple of trash pile free agents for some of these spots, but trash pile free agents isn’t the path to building a playoff caliber defense

Khao$

March 9th, 2009
10:04 am

I agree with Poor McKay. Although I firmly believe in building through the draft, you also needs some experienced vets. Most rookies don’t perform like Matt Ryan their first year. They have a steep learning curve.Rookies AND 2nd year players make mistakes. They just do. Name one winning team in the history of the league that won with a bunch of second year/rookie players on defense. They are playing in a man’s league. After going 11-5 last year with a patchwork defense, I will be upset if we have a losing season because we went totally young (save for Abraham). I didn’t mind cutting Brooking or Milloy. However, I figured we’d get some younger vets in.

Rico

March 9th, 2009
10:12 am

As for what Thomas Dimitroff has done this offseason, I personally believe that he is doing the right thing. There is no sense in paying big bucks for the current players who are free agents. Right now because of the lack of big name players on the market, teams are valuing these guys a lot higher than what their stock really should be, and because of the economy and good agents representing these players, a lot of mediocre players are truly cashing in.

As far as our defensive line, I like the rotation. I would actually prefer Biermann in pass rushing situations. Has anyone watched this kid last season. He was a couple of plays away from a five or six sack season himself. He always seemed to come just short of a sack on just about every other play. I like his potential and upside. As for Jamal Anderson, I believe that he is an example of being a very athletic player playing in a college system that doesn’t put emphasis on technique. We must not forget that he has only been playing defensive end for 4-5 years now. He was a tight end before he switched positions.

At the linebacker position Stephen Nicholas is an absolute monster. I don’t believe that Falcon fans truly understand the upside that this kid has. He plays with a lot of energy and passion, and is an extremely hard hitter. If he plays this year, I think a lot of you fans will be singing a different tune about this kid. I don’t necessarily think that Coy Wire is the answer we need to fill the other outside lineback spot. I believe that maybe we could save ourselves money an inexperience at that position by possibly picking up S Roy Williams who was released by the Cowboys, and making him an outside linebacker. Roy has shown that he certainly does not have any deep open field cover skills or make up speed, but I do like his hard nose play against the run, and I certainly would rather have him matched up against a tight end/running back on passing situations more so than anyone of our nickel backs.

Lastly as far as the secondary is concerned, our cornerback situation is in complete question. Chris Houston has shown that he has a knack of getting picked on due his size, but he has shown that he possess great speed. So I would keep him as the starter on the right side unless we pick up somebody else who is better suited for the job. As for Dominique Foxworth’s potential replacement, I believe we may need to address that position in the draft. I’m not too sold on the likes of Brent Grimes, Chevis Jackson, or Von Hutchins. I believe that Chevis Jackson would be our best corner in Nickel situations out of those three guys, but I would address the other cornerback position through the draft. As for the safety position, I like Erik Coleman at the free safety position, but I would address the SS position with the first pick of the draft. Maybe someone like S William Moore from Missouri would be a safe pick at that position.

Nevertheless, “In Dimitroff, I Trust.” With that being said, I think we are already headed in the right direction for 2009 by ridding ourselves of the so called leaders of our defense which made our defense 24th in the league. Let’s start building a dynasty for the future, so that the Falcons will be “hell” for anyone we play for years to come!!!

Joey Porter

March 9th, 2009
10:13 am

Sorry arse falcons are back. This is the big boy league. You folks will be back to being loserville USA again next year. Your team has no leadership whatsoever.

Cameron

March 9th, 2009
10:17 am

The Falcons will be active in FA this week. They will never look to make big splashes in FA. TD came from the Patriots system. They don’t overpay and don’t sign quick fixes. The only time we might will be if we feel we are one guy away from a Super Bowl run. We are not there yet. We will sign some people this week to build depth. Maybe even sign a starter or two on defense. We were waiting for the price tags to come down on FAs. They have now and we will probably sign some people. TD has said all along that we will not be big players in FA. Everyone needs to sit back and relaz and see what gets done.

chc4

March 9th, 2009
10:19 am

The biggest arse-clown in the league besides T.O. giving advice about how to run a team. You might wanna change your name to someone that actually has an ounce of sense.

Khao$

March 9th, 2009
10:23 am

Rico, I agree we don’t have to have big name/big dollar guys. However, I do believe you need guys with experience that aren’t other teams left overs. Again, when have we EVER seen a team win with a bunch of rookies and 2nd year players playing significant roles on defense? We must also consider that us picking up good players in the draft is just as much of a crap shot as going through free agency. Paying a high draft pick a bunch of money (who you’ve never seen play professional football) is just as risking as paying a FA hoping he’ll be motivated after getting the big check. That’s not to say either way is wrong. However, what we’re seeing Dimitroff do (up to this point) is unprecedented: trying to win with rookies and 2nd year players. That is, unless this is really a rebuilding project. For me, and I preface this statement by saying this year, it would be disapppointing. After going 11-5, I want another winning season, not a step back. I’m not convinced we can do that with a bunch of guys trying to learn the Pro game.

mark

March 9th, 2009
10:23 am

just remember the cowboys in the jimmy johnson ers, young at almost every position. talent over experience i,ll take it.in td i trust.

ChicagoFalcon

March 9th, 2009
10:25 am

Please no LJ Smith!!!! He can’t block and their are 3rd round tight ends more athletic than him in the draft.

smokedog

March 9th, 2009
10:26 am

the best moves for use should be to make a trade for shawn rogers and put him on the side of bab and atleast one corner leigh bodden he use to cover chad johnson good.Everything else could come out draft.With mike smith coaching staff we could really make some noise

Big Ray

March 9th, 2009
10:30 am

I have to admit to a bit of nervousness where the defense is concerned, but it’s not like this defensive unit was tops in the league last year. Sure, we need a vet or two, but this is still a rebuilding process. Hell, it’s only year 2 of that process. New GM, new coach. Calm down.

I really am anxious to see what gets done in the draft though. What will come first? A defensive tackle? A cornerback? A tight end like Pettigrew? Or a safety?

Ben

March 9th, 2009
10:34 am

Why would we move that far to pick up Raji? We can stay right where we are at #24 and pick up DT Peria Jerry from Ole Miss. Pick up S Rashad Johnson from Alabama in the 2nd and CB Captain Munnerlyn or OLB Marcus Freeman from Ohio State in the 3rd.

Address needs and I fully expect TD and staff to put together draft picks form big programs that were productive and explified leaders. They may not be the most sexy names but this draft is about filling needs.

Mac

March 9th, 2009
10:41 am

Chevis is going to be a good one, I think. But, I hope they can find someone at least as good as Foxworth for that slot.

By the way, did you know it takes the exact same number of keystrokes to type Atlanta as it does to type the ATL? Learn from this my pop culture friend and go all old school from now on. How about it?

Leon

March 9th, 2009
10:44 am

Cameron hit it on the head. TD helped build the Patriots system, it’s all about the scheme and buying into the program. TD & CMS see eye to eye on what they are trying to accomplish. If you bring in the RIGHT veterans it’ll work. Remeber one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. IN TD WE TRUST!

Steve Brown

March 9th, 2009
10:50 am

Do we have any investigative reporters left or are we left with those that just regurgitate? Take a look at the value of Home Depot’s stock add in employee cuts at the Blank Foundation and a picture begins to form of Mr. Blank deciding it is less expensive to draft than to sign free agents this year. Seems pretty clear to me.

Big Ray

March 9th, 2009
10:53 am

I’d be happy with Jerry.

Rashad Johnson…ahh, not the the game-changer I’d like, but he’s probably better than I give him credit for. A bit on the smallish side, more like a corner. I’d rather have a bigger, stronger safety like William Moore. That’s the problem: most of these safeties in this draft are more cornerback size….but none of them seemed to have great speed.

lawyer dave

March 9th, 2009
10:58 am

The falcons have lost 4 soon to be 5 free agents
(I assume someone will sign Lawyer). What can we expect in the of compensatory draft picks?

Khao$

March 9th, 2009
11:04 am

Thomas Dimitroff helped build the Patriots…with Bill Belechick and Scott Pioli. That doesn’t take away from what he did last year. He pushed all the right buttons. That said, one year doesn’t make him Jerry West. He’s still open to critique until he has a body of work that says otherwise. I wish we still had some of the comments people had about Rich McKay when he first got on board. He got similar ringing endorsements. Let’s wait awhile before we anoint him the best GM who ever walked the face of the earth. I’m not knocking Dimitroff. However, I’m questioning his approach of building a defense without any reputable veteren replacements…for next year.

Big Ray

March 9th, 2009
11:04 am

Have to say that Sean Smith is an intriguing prospect as well. Could play either corner or safety….hmmmm. Wondering if he can be solid at either. If he has that “it” that Dimitroff and other GMs look for.

Big Ray

March 9th, 2009
11:10 am

McKay was a faker. He had a great system around him in Tampa, from top to bottom (well, except for idiot owners). He got here, he screwed the pooch pretty quickly.

On the other hand, I can see the sense in not crowning Dimitroff the savior of Falcon-kind, but I’m impressed with what he’s done all the same. All of his picks have contributed either decently or greatly (when healthy).

His approach is not above question. But free agency ain’t over yet, either.

And consider one more thing: he’s talking with his head coach every step of the way. So it’s not like he’s just throwing this thing together, trying to rewrite the “Hall of Fame GMs” book or anything. He’s getting plenty of input from Mike Smith as well, as far as what they think will work. I think if Mike is worried about veterans, he’ll say something, and Dimitroff will listen.

And like I said, free agency ain’t over yet…

Randy

March 9th, 2009
11:17 am

Steve Brown, Mr Blank no longer owns Home Depot. And I don’t think money is an issue with him. This approach is called building through the draft. It’s how winning teams operate.

Leon

March 9th, 2009
11:19 am

TD is building the same way here….with the head coach and scouting director all on the same page. I’ll admit I thought McKay was a good hire…..in hindsight he was not. TD drafted more impact players in ONE draft than McKay did the whole time he was in charge. Can’t put my finger on it, but having lived in Atlanta my entire life (since before the Falcons even existed) it just FEELS different. I’m just sayin’

Poor McKay

March 9th, 2009
11:19 am

There is a difference between grabbing big name free agents in the first few days and signing NO ONE after about 7-10 days. I, too, agree with not going after the short-term fix. But all of this talk about leaning heavily on the draft is dangerous. TD would need to have 3-5 players at each position of need identified to have any comfort that a player will still be there when our pick comes up in the given round.

There are a few 25-28 year-old FAs out there who may not be ready for the HOF but they at least have game experience and/or unrealized upside. Butler (Tech grad), Bodden, CJ Mosely, Stephen Bowen… all of those guys would be very nice additions to our squad (without breaking the bank). If TD goes into next season assuming Abraham wil play 16 games (because they have discovered a way to keep him fresh) then he is fooling himself. And having one bonafide play-maker on defense (even if he miraculously stays healthy for a second season) is not the way to build an elite defense.

SirReal

March 9th, 2009
11:25 am

Yeah, I agree with getting rid of the aging vets. We did it on offense last year, now its the Ds turn. This lack of free agency says either one of two things to me. 1) The new regime thinks we actually have some good guys in place and therefore we dont need to look externally for help. We have an ALL STAR coaching staff. Even BVG, I think he’s very underrated. (He made it work with smoke and mirrors given the talent we had.lol I know 24th isnt that great but you do what you can with what you have. 11 wins cant be ALL offense.We had some close games.) 2) The Falcons are just being cheap and they are really banking too much on the draft. The draft cant fill ALL these holes we have. Its just not gonna happen. Plus you have to teach these guys about the pro game, etc. I personally think you have to mix in a couple young vets to go with what they are trying to establish. Our secondary does NOT give me confidence beyond Erik Coleman. Why didnt we go after Sheppard? He could have come cheap (a draft pick, probably 3rd rounder) Some of these moves (or lack there of) are questionable but all we can do is wait and see how it turns out…..I don’t think we’ll have the same success as last year with the brutal schedule this year. NE, DAL, NYJ, NYG, WAS, MIA, and not to mention our own division. I hope TD knows what he’s doing. I’m confident in the offense…totally not sold on D….

RedTailHawk

March 9th, 2009
11:27 am

“Mac” ,,,did u know that it takes 1 more keystroke to type LMFAO than it does to type STHU.

D3

March 9th, 2009
11:33 am

Agree with most everyone’s opinion. I’m somewhere in between this is what is needed and feeling that this is a HUGE risk. If we re-sign Foxworth, that really would’ve solidified our secondary with Houston, Jackson, a returning Hutchins, and Foxworth. Now we have holes all throughout the defense.

A lot of dominoes have to fall excactly correctly for the defense to turn out well. TD has gotten a ton of well-deserved space, but it is a huge risk. 1) Trey Lewis must come in healthy, start, and play well 2)Chauncey Davis must compete and win the D.End position or push J.Anderson to win it back or move him inside. 3) Coy Wire and/or Stephen Nicholas must prove their mettle and fill at least one of the starting OLB spots. 4)Thomas DeCoud must compete with a drafted safety and play well with little to no experience. 5) If LJ Smith is signed, he must STAY HEALTHY which is an enormous IF, or have to draft yet another position of need. All that is assuming there are no injuries, which is completely unrealistic.

Starting spots needed (not including potential current starters)
1)SS 2)ROLB 3)LOLB 4)DT 5)CB 6)TE

Including Coy Wire or Stephen Nicholas, Chevis Jackson, Trey Lewis,
1)SS 2)OLB 3)CB 4)TE

Big risk assuming you can find 3 starters in the draft, much less 4 or 5.

Khao$

March 9th, 2009
11:49 am

D3, I think you hit it right on the nail. There are too many varibles at play to build solely on the draft.

cajdawg

March 9th, 2009
11:54 am

D3. Brilliant Analysis.

The front office is trying to act like the Patriots or the Steelers- sit back during free agency and laugh as other teams spend money.

The problem is we are not deep on defense yet, so we can’t afford to play chicken heading towards the draft. Dimitroff will need to hit a World Series game 7, ninth inning walk-off grand slam in the draft to find 2 to 4 serviceable rookies in the draft that are worthy of starting

Khao$

March 9th, 2009
12:03 pm

Exactly, cajdawg. The Patriots, Steelers and Eagles have a succession process/contingency plan in place. They draft young players, they sit behind older players. Then, they cut older high price players (who can still play) and let the young guys come in. We don’t have the depth to do that just yet. Say what you will about Joe Horn. However, having him around help Roddy White. Roddy said that in his own words. Lofton said the same for Brooking. These young kids need guys (the right guys) who’ve been in the trenches to show them the ropes and show them how to practice at the pro level. Coaching is important, but it does pay to have vets who can show you on the practice field what to do. I know FA is still going on. However, I think we could have acquired some guys who have already signed (Jermaine Phillips/Sean Jones) that wouldn’t have broken the bank, would have still be productive, fit in similar systems, and were young.

Brian Hunt

March 9th, 2009
12:12 pm

Football is a game of young fresh legs. I am in full support of filling the needs in the secondary and LB corps with draft picks. It will make the Defense more athletic and capable of making plays while at the same time help manage the salary cap. The elephant in the room that is preventing big moves is the minimum of $7.5 million to the max of $15 million that our former QB will count against the cap.

hawesg

March 9th, 2009
12:14 pm

Listen, I live in New England. They DO go out and get experienced players. They don’t build exclusively through the draft. Randy Moss? Adalius Thomas? Wes Welker? Junior Seau? These guys didn’t come up through New England’s draft. They were added to strong draft classes.

I’m not arguing against building through the draft, but even Dimitroff said you add FAs where you need them. Well, they need some FA help on defense and luckily the best remaining FA defender is probably Leigh Bodden who would fill a huge whole.

Ben

March 9th, 2009
12:17 pm

Money is not the issue. Because of the NFL’s contract with the TV network the owners make essentially the entire salary cap amount on an annual basis. I completely get TD’s approach though. Building through the draft solifies your team for years. Develop your players and develop continuity. No big splashes needed in 2009. Just be solid and keep your head down.

LJ Smith may be headed to the Lions by the way…

Pat Connors

March 9th, 2009
12:18 pm

To you Joey Porter Sir, are a friggin idiot. You write like a South Georgia Pre K student. Let me educate you, so you don’t loose face @ your job with the County Sanitation Department. Football starts with one position.(QB) We have the future who is NOW. Look what he did last year. +8.5 win diferential is the second best turn around in NFL HISTORY. You Smuck, I was watching ESPN the other day, the topic was,
” Who will be the dominate athlete in Professional Sports within 10 years”. This is ALL sports, not just Football. Tiger Woods was one of the 4 players named. Guess who was one of the 4 players named. Matt Ryan. So go choke on your own meat manhood, or should I say Punkhood. Loserville this, you ignite somgun.

welikebaseball2

March 9th, 2009
12:20 pm

All you guys are talking about “let’s go younger, let’s go younger.” However, as some folks on here have pointed out, you can’t go “younger” with no strategically placed veterans. Also, you can still “go younger” without turning half your starting positions over to rookies. How about a few 3rd or 4th year players?

hawesg

March 9th, 2009
12:21 pm

Ben, let’s hope you’re right about LJ Ole Smith going to Detroit. I’d rather spend some FA cash on a defender and draft a Shawn Nelson in the second round than waste FA money on a stiff like Smith.

Ben

March 9th, 2009
12:22 pm

Hey Hawesg,

I’ve got to corect a few things you said.

Welker and Moss were trades not FA signings. Welker was traded for a 2nd and a 7th and Moss for a 4th. Thomas was the only big time deal the Patriots have had in recent memory. Seau retired and then came back to the Patriots.

hawesg

March 9th, 2009
12:26 pm

Sorry to belabor the point about New England, but Vrabel came over as a FA, too.

Ben

March 9th, 2009
12:26 pm

Falcons have established vets on D in Erik Coleman and John Abraham. I’m not sure why folks are thinking that we’ve got nothing there.

Maggie Lumpskin

March 9th, 2009
12:26 pm

“You write like a South Georgia Pre K student. Let me educate you, so you don’t loose face @ your job with the County Sanitation Department.”

If you are going to call someone out, check your spelling of “lose.” Loser.

Ben

March 9th, 2009
12:27 pm

And Vrabel actually considered retiring because he couldn’t crack the lineup but in a back capacity in Pittsburgh.

vtfalcon

March 9th, 2009
12:28 pm

anyone have any idea how many picks the falcons will get this year? seems like they should get some compensatory picks considering the outflux.

hawesg

March 9th, 2009
12:29 pm

FA or trade, my point being that New England didn’t always build through the draft. They supplement their team with veterans. Some cheap like Welker, some expensive like Moss.

Damndawg

March 9th, 2009
12:29 pm

I don’t mind letting veterans go, but who’s going to start, much less backup? For $8M/3yrs, we should have kept Grady J to plug up the line since our DB’s and LB’s have wayyyyy too many holes to plug in the draft. Jones/Phillips were experienced and affordable. I don’t see making 9-7 with the current plan unless we find some FAs. Compensatory picks don’t render the starters we will need to avoid the back to back winning season curse.

Khao$

March 9th, 2009
12:30 pm

Ben, even though Welker and Moss weren’t free agents, they were still vets. And the Patriots gave up picks to get them. So, the Pats deemed what these vets could bring to the table could equate to more than what they’d receive in the 2nd, 4th, and 7th rounds. I agree, we shouldn’t throw out big time deals. However, I find it hard to believe that some of the young good players that have been scooped up for relatively reasonable deals wouldn’t have helped this team and help to create a succession plan to allow our young players to grow behind them and take their spots. That’s the way the Steelers, Philly, and NE does it. Once they feel their young guys are competent enough, they’ll cut a high price vet. We hit lightning in a bottle last year with Ryan, Baker, and Lofton. What is the likelihood of that happening again? Also, we don’t have as many picks, nor are they as high as they were last year. Conversely, yes we know NE finds good players low in the draft. However, these picks walk into situations where they have vets in place to show them the Patriots way. Whose going to show are picks the “Falcons Way?” Coy Wire? Jamaal Anderson?

hawesg

March 9th, 2009
12:31 pm

Compensatory picks are awarded for the 2010 draft.

BULLSEYE

March 9th, 2009
12:33 pm

Wahhh Wahhh. I’m a Falcon blogger and I am scared of what is happening in free agency. We should have signed Haynesworth, T.J. Ray Lewis, T.O. and all of the other fantasy players. Boo hoo. Why did Dimitroff sign 13 of our own players back to a team that went 11-5 last season. We didn’t even know who Foxworth was last season until they signed him on opening day and started playing a month after Brent got hurt. He was gonna be better than Deion. The NFL just eats rookies alive. Just ask Matt Ryan, Harry Douglas, Sam Baker, Curtis Lofton Thomas Decoud and Kory Bierman. Just because our head coach is a defesive guru and we have BVG as a DC, does not mean they know how to select personnel better than bloggers. I mean really. Bloggers are plugged in because they can devote more time to that kind of task.