FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, in order to rest his turf toe injury, did not practice on Wednesday.
Also, running back Michael Turner (right high ankle sprain) did not participate in practice.
“He did go through the walk through this morning,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We had anticipated that if he was going to play, that would be the course of action that we would take. It’s not a setback. It was a course of action that we were going to take.”
THE DRAFT AND COMPENSATORY PICKS — FALCONS COULD HAVE 9 PICKS IN THE 2010 DRAFT
THE BRANCH – There’s indeed a method to the workings of Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s madness.
You have to give it to him, for being way ahead of the pack on this draft stuff.
Last summer, right here on this blog, we were wondering aloud why the Falcons were not signing any free agents and
letting all of those defensive starters go. They had cap room and could have pulled the trigger on a few deals. Cornerback Jabari Greer would have been nice. Ron Bartell could have worked, too.
But Dimitroff held his cards tight and just signed linebacker Mike Peterson. They traded the second round pick of the 2010 draft to Kansas City for tight end Tony Gonzalez and had to burn the seventh round pick to get Tye Hill from St. Louis.
As it stands today, the Falcons will have their own picks in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of the deep 2010 draft.
But here’s the kicker, by letting Domonique Foxworth, Michael Boley, Keith Brooking and Grady Jackson leave during free agency, the Falcons could gain as many as four compensatory picks when they are announced by the league in March.
Last season a total of 32 compensatory picks were awarded to 16 teams, including four each to Cincinnati and Tennessee. The maximum number of compensatory picks a team can receive is four.
Pursuant to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires is the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.
A formula, developed by the NFL Management Council and based on playing time, salary and postseason honors is used to determine compensatory free agents.
Under this formula, the Falcons are almost certain to get a third round pick for cornerback Domonique Foxworth. He signed a four year, $27.2 million contract and is starting his little heart away. He’s made all 14 starts for the Ravens. He’s struggling so there probably won’t be many post-season honors.
Michael Boley, who signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the New York Giants, could likely bring the Falcons a fourth round pick. Boley was suspended for a game and was injured. But he’s played in nine games and is second on the Giants in tackles with 65.
Dallas linebacker Keith Brooking could be worth a fourth or fifth round compensatory pick and Detroit defensive tackle Grady Jackson could be worth a seventh round pick.
So, with the Falcons needing to add some depth and competition at some key positions, they could end up with nine picks in the 2010 draft.
We’re months away from the draft, but here are a couple of things that will likely appear on the Falcons’ draft list.
–A good tight end who can serve an apprenticeship under Gonzalez.
–Cornerback and linebacker depth.
–Some more muscle along both lines.
–Some more running back and wide receiver insurance.