Chris Redman signed; Dunta Robinson deal is close

Dunta Robinson is from Athens, but likely won't play for the home-state discount. (By Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle)

Dunta Robinson is from Athens, but likely won't play for the home-state discount. (By Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle)

There’s nothing free about free agency.

When the clock hit midnight, the Falcons were  not  innocent bystanders this season.

The Falcons have stated that they plan to be fiscally responsible during free agency, but  were in negotiations with free agent cornerback Dunta Robinson, who played at Clarke Central in Athens and South Carolina, shortly after free agency begin. He was generally considered the top unrestricted player at his position.

Talks went into the early morning and are set to pick up later on Friday.

Robinson, who turns 27 in April,  is a former first round pick (10th overall in 2004).

Houston gave him the franchise tag last season, but elected to let Robinson enter free agency this year. He would have commanded near $12 million for next season if they’d slapped the franchise tag on him again.

By making a move to sign Robinson, the  Falcons are hoping to improve their pass defense which ranked 28th in the league  last season, giving up 241.9 yards per game. The Falcons also re-signed cornerback  Brian Williams on Thursday.

REDMAN SIGNED: Falcons quarterback Chris Redman signed a  two-year contract worth $5.6 million.

NFL RELEASES LIST OF FALCONS’ UFAs:  Wide receiver Marty Booker, Linebacker Tony Gilbert, running back Verron Haynes, long snapper Mike Schneck (announced his retirement), running back Aaron Stecker and long snapper Joe Zelenka.

BRIAN WILLIAMS RE-SIGNED TO ONE-YEAR

CONTRACT; SCHNECK RETIRES

Brian Williams had an impact in his first game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Brian Williams had an impact in his first game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

WILLIAMS RE-SIGNED: The Falcons re-signed cornerback Brian Williams to a one-year contract on Thursday, his agent confirmed.  Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

“He ’s very happy to be back with the Falcons,” said Jordan Feagan, Williams’ agent.

The Falcons signed Williams on Sept. 6 after he was cut from Jacksonville. He was brought in to help stabilize the cornerback position after they had struggled in the preseason.

Williams, who turns 31 in July, won the starting position at left cornerback. He moved down inside to the slot in nickel situations.

Williams started five games before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Chicago on Oct. 18. He was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 20.

He played for Falcons head coach Mike Smith while a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006 through 2008. He started his career with the Minnesota Vikings.

Williams, who is still recovering from his knee surgery but is expected to be medically cleared by training camp, has played in 112 games and made 98 starts.

SCHNECK RETIRES: Former Pro Bowl special teams player Mike Schneck, the team’s long snapper, retired on Thursday.

Schneck played 12 years in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers (199-2004), Buffalo Bills (2005-2006) and for the Falcons (2007-2009).  Last season, he went on injured reserve after playing with broken ribs.

He was selected to a Pro Bowl in 2005 as a member of the Buffalo Bills.

103 comments Add your comment

Poor McKay

March 4th, 2010
3:07 pm

DOL, if the Falcons sign one of the blue-chip FA CBs, do you expect them to allow Chris Houston to compete for the other starting spot or is Owens the other designated starter? It feels like Houston has a problem… he won’t be wearing a Falcons uniform in August.

osama

March 4th, 2010
3:13 pm

Bodden could probably start either side. If Brian Williams is healthy, he’s our #1 (defensive LCB).

Nique

March 4th, 2010
3:15 pm

Robinson is the answer, while he’s not as big, he’s a no question # 1 CB! He’s the answer, if we are willing to foot the bill, there isn’t a better CB solution at the position than that & the acquisition would allow Grims, Owens, & Houston to fight for the other side & then the nickel. This would give us a really legit d-backfield, especially as Moore works his was back. This also free’s up our # 1 to get either a DE (Dunlap or Graham) a OLB Weatherspoon, or hopefully a LT (Biloga). Whichever way, Robinson is the best free agent acquisition that we could make! But id not him, Bodden is a good fit, as is Carlos Rodgers.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 4th, 2010
3:19 pm

DOL- i heard the falcons will re-sign Williams for a 1yr deal, is this true? If dunta is going to command a huge salary & off-field issues, then no, we don’t need him. However, the fellow from NE could be a nice pickup

teamguy

March 4th, 2010
3:23 pm

DOL, I believe Williams has been signed for another year. .according to PFT, that is. I thought he looked good last year, but we’ll see how well he comes back from that injury. If Bodden or Roninson are signed, where do we go in the draft? Linebacker?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 4th, 2010
3:35 pm

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater. I think it’s true. I know they want him back. No confirmation (sourcing is an issue) as of right now.

Gary

March 4th, 2010
3:40 pm

SIGN LEIGH BODDEN! He is big, physical, fast, and can cover a team’s number one reciever. I really like this guy and he is underrated he had a very good season last year. I like Robinson as well, but I have a better feeling about Bodden. Falcons resigned Brian Williams, if we can sign Bodden and get Weatherspoon at 19 in the draft along with getting Moore and Jerry back healthy……Falcons defense would be solid.

Dan

March 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

First Falcon Blog thatI agree with about acquiring a vet established corner. Not sure of any Robinson off the field issues? Just like Roddy White last year he just wanted to be shown the Qwan.

Ree Roe

March 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

If we sign Bodden, Bodden & Williams as starting CBs with Brent & Houston as nickels is solid. I’m guessing we’re probably goin after a LB or DE with our first round pick now

-REEply to Roe!!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 4th, 2010
3:48 pm

houston needs to go, like yesterday. he couldn’t cover a fat girl with a giant quilt if needed to. I like the idea of Bodden & Williams (if he’s knee injury/rehab are up to speed) but i would still sleep safer at night knowing the falcons have a solid backup @ CB in case Williams re-injures that knee (hope not). go with a CB in the draft

Poor McKay

March 4th, 2010
3:57 pm

I don’t like Houston either but I do like Owens. And I am all for signing a vet while Owens gains some experience. If that looks like Bodden long-term and Williams short-term with Owens waiting in the wings, that sounds REAL good to me.

Now let’s move Babs to DE and draft a big ‘un like Dan Williams to pair with Jerry and shut down that run game. Move Babineaux to DT on passing downs and get a good rush across the D-line.

Mave2124

March 4th, 2010
3:59 pm

Fox reports Williams got a one year deal, but isn’t 100%, would not mind going for Bodden and going LB/DE in the draft.

osama

March 4th, 2010
4:00 pm

The rest of the CBs are solid. Houston needs to go. He bites on even the slightest pump-fakes and double moves. Not to mention, he can’t seem to get his head around with the ball in the air. Package him w/ his fellow alumni & ship them off for a draft pick. Grimes, Owens & Jackson can shore up the CB spots behind Williams & Bodden (if we get him). That would allow Dimitroff to take the best available at which ever position of his choosing–DE, OLB, OL

ddawgdavis

March 4th, 2010
4:04 pm

I would love to get Bodden. No where near a shutdown corner, but better than Dunta.

Tosin

March 4th, 2010
4:10 pm

Antrel Rolle is on the market and (forgive me if im wrong) he used to play CB. He is 6 foot 208 pounds according to ESPN and since he played S for the last couple of years, he has developed a good tackling and hard hiting ability.

sterrell586

March 4th, 2010
4:15 pm

what are the chances the falcons will go after the fsu boys cromartie in san diego or bolden in arizona?

chris

March 4th, 2010
4:21 pm

sign Lito Sheppard he is good the Jets cut cut him today

chris

March 4th, 2010
4:26 pm

draft a WR and TE and DE and DT and OL and OLB and SS and sign Lito Sheppard or Bodden

chris

March 4th, 2010
4:27 pm

and GO FALCON

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 4th, 2010
4:30 pm

DOL, slightly off topic I fear, but–
I saw where the NFL owners meeting (where comp picks will be doled out as well as who knows what other juicy stuff) will be the 21st-24th. Your abilities as the recognized no. 1 blogger in the country to get valuable background and insights would be great IF the beancounters let you go.
Will you be there?

Bob in SF

March 4th, 2010
4:31 pm

I’d be shocked if the Birds signed Dunta; TD has said he won’t pay shutdown money to a non-shutdown CB and that there are only a few of those guys in the league at any time. Robinson is a great athlete but not a shutdown CB by any means, I highly doubt the Falcons will give a guy who is not much more productive than the young CBs already on the roster silly money to come to the ATL. The pass rush is the issue, not the coverage. The Falcon’s CBs were in position much of the time last year but didn’t always make the play, that will come with experience and a better pass rush.

The Real Falcon

March 4th, 2010
4:41 pm

Looks like the Falcons have it right. Sign a veteran CB first. Then use the draft for DL and OLB help.
Build the defense from the front backwards.

Freakin Falcons

March 4th, 2010
5:13 pm

YESSSSS!!!! Get Bodden not Robinson . We dont need another short cornerback we have plenty of those. Then work a deal for Kyle VB and improve our pass rush. Then Draft the Best linebacker possible. One like Lofton With good speed and Pop! Wala! Better D in 2010!

Nick

March 4th, 2010
5:24 pm

Leigh Bodden has character issues, and Dunta Robinson is a short corner. My prediction is we don’t sign neither.

Thomas Dimitroff

March 4th, 2010
5:28 pm

Remember guys “fiscal responsibility”.

Chris Houston

March 4th, 2010
5:33 pm

Calm down guys, I’m not that bad… Am I?

Thomas Dimitroff

March 4th, 2010
5:41 pm

What makes you so sure we WILL go after a veteran corner D. Orlando Ledbetter?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 4th, 2010
6:27 pm

Bangkapi Ajarn: I hope to go.

Thomas Dimitroff: I’ve got your phone bugged, that’s why. (Not really, that would be illegal.) I watch the Giants game again and the second half of the Redskins game.

Chris: Word is that Lito’s shuffle is over.

Sterrell586: Been on the phone all day. Haven’t heard their names yet.

Anderson

March 4th, 2010
6:36 pm

According to ESPN,it is Dunta Robinson that the Falcons are primarily pursuing. The Detroit Lions will also be in the mix for DR.Ihave mixed feelings. While DR is short he has experience and is skilled. There are other CBs such as Leigh Bodden,Lito Sheppard,and Carlos Rogers who have experience and would be much cheaper. Titans DE Kyle Vander Bosh would be a nice get too for the Falcons.

Chop Buster

March 4th, 2010
6:38 pm

DOL, when are you going to use your “inside” contacts to get us fans some REAL news on what the Falcons are planning during FA? Robinson is not that good a CB (saw him get shook many times with Houston) and Bodden is tall but if he was that great would Bill be letting him walk? I would trust Belichicks’ eval of defensive players over you arm chair GMs. We have Williams back and should pick up another CB in the draft. We need DL pressure either from the draft or FA. The front line has always been the problem. Our CBs wouldn’t have been so exposed had our DL got after the QB on every down. I know it’s cliche, but it all begins upfront in the trenches.

willieg hates bill shanks

March 4th, 2010
6:42 pm

the falcons will win the division this year guaranteed .

willieg hates bill shanks

March 4th, 2010
6:43 pm

as long as they have no injuries all 19 weeks.

D Money

March 4th, 2010
6:45 pm

I’m with most of you. Bodden would be a great addition. That would probably mean that we’re targeting Graham (DE) or Weatherspoon (OLB) at #19. Even if we have Bodden and Williams starting it won’t mena anything if we don’t have a pass-rush.

ron the man

March 4th, 2010
6:52 pm

If it looks to good to be true- It probably is not. There are reasons some of these vets become available, and we mortal fans don’t have access to the info or film evidence that our coaches and TD have. They will know whether these guys are worth the gold, and whether we need to go the extra mile or if someone is available in the draft that could get up to speed quickly. It’s fun to discuss options, but we all know that our present organization will make the right decisions. Look at their track record. Nothing speaks louder to me than the way they finished the season last year after all those injuries, and playing mostly for pride and winning seasons back-to-back. Gooo–Falcons.

South ga boy in the atl

March 4th, 2010
6:55 pm

DOL. Didn’t Thomas say he was satisfied with our secondary and our D-line in your interview of him a few days ago. That led you and a lot of us to believe he would go LB in rd. 1 of the draft. He has given you and all of us a big head-fake if he signs the top or one of the top Corners in free agency hadn’t he ? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be overjoyed if he pulls in Robinson or Bodden. Bit if this works out, it makes me wonder if he is head-faking about being satisfied with the D-line, as he told you the other day, and will use our No. 1 on a true pass rushing DE. Resign Williams, a top of the line corner from free agency, a real pass rushing DE in round 1 or witherspoon at worse. Falcon fans prayer’s may be answered. Say DOL will you be bloggin tonight right up thru midnight so we diehards can get a little early info from you ? Please say yes DOL and keep up the good work.

Bill

March 4th, 2010
7:00 pm

Get Bodden if possible.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 4th, 2010
7:13 pm

WE’RE HEARING ROBINSON IS THE TARGET.

CHOP BUSTER: Robinson is the top CB on the market. He’d be the Falcons No. 1 I think. You’re not paying attending in class. TD likes the rush with the return of Peria Jerry. He would have helped to create rush lanes. If receivers are open early, QB doesn’t have to hold the ball and thusly the rush CAN’T get home. Coverage has to be tighter. I understand that. Some of you all do not.

South ga boy in the atl: No, he was satisfied that the DEs numbers would have been better if Peria Jerry was in the lineup all season. He couldn’t sign off of 28th pass defense (coverage issues). I have the phone on and laptop fired up to jump in here throughout the evening.

Unca' Bob

March 4th, 2010
7:17 pm

D-Led,

Congrats on your #1 status as the best in the NFC South. Well deserved. You have been the man for a very long time, and I thank you once again for your help with The Cage. You are indeed, The Man.

Any one wanting D Robinson on our team. One word, research.

torgo

March 4th, 2010
7:30 pm

D-Led – heard anything on Rod Hood? Word out of Nashville is that he’ll hit the open market at midnight.

Also, repeating my question from a previous entry – any word on why the Falcons only tendered Koenen at the second round level when the first round level would have cost the same price? (The 110% of previous salary would be the price tag either way.)

i need to be stimulated too

March 4th, 2010
7:36 pm

Any possibility the Falcons pursue Brandon Marshall? He was tendered as a #1 pick…surely giving up this years pick for a receiver of his quality would be worth it.

Any thoughts or rumblings about that?

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 4th, 2010
7:43 pm

Hey there, Unca’ Bob. Long time!

I, for one, do want Dunta Robinson; and yes, I did my research. Why is everyone so concerned about acquiring a shutdown corner, when shutdown is not a requirement in our system. If we all can agree that Brian Williams was good for the Falcons (before injury), then please note that he is one inch higher than Robinson. Williams, Robinson, Owens and Grimes will catapult us into playoff contention.

How’s it going in the cage, brother?

Gary

March 4th, 2010
7:47 pm

First of all, was that REALLY Chris Houston and TD leaving comments or was it someone acting like them? Second, We wil be much better with either player but again I like Bodden better. I think he would fit much better with our defense. So we know of Robinson and Bodden being two free agnts Falcons may be going after…..are there any other FA’s falcons may try to get DOL?

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 4th, 2010
7:54 pm

Am I correct in assuming that the multi-million$$$ Vick surcharge against the salary is now expired? If so, that in and of itself would free up several million dollars in salary for free agents for the 2010 season.

Also, TD played the GM macro strategy game regarding free agency last year to maximize comp draft picks (perhaps this allowed the trade for Tony G to make more sense for the future?).

How do you see the minus side of the free agent slate playing out this year? Signing a pricey free agent like D. Robinson (perhaps using budget freeing up post Vick) could additionally cost the falcons a 3rd or 4th round comp pick next year IF they lose a compatible free agent – if they have any???

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 4th, 2010
7:54 pm

In my unprofessional NFL opinion, I think Aaron Kampan would also be a good acquisition for our defense. He has expressed a deep passion to play in a 4-3 defense (rare) and would make an outstanding marriage with Abraham, on the ends. With a Robinson and Kampan signing, we can concentrate our efforts on Weatherspoon, A.O.A. and offensive line in the draft.

Gary

March 4th, 2010
7:54 pm

NFL Network’s Steve Wyche said sathat “All indications” are that Dunta Robinson will end up with the Falcons.” I’m still hoping for Bodden but I like Robinson.

Chop Buster

March 4th, 2010
8:04 pm

DOL, if Robinson is the top CB on the market the Falcons are in trouble. Like I said, I’ve watched his games and the film doesn’t lie. He was probably the best his rookie season and his production fell off each year after. Maybe he was half-assing it because Rick wouldn’t pay him. LOL If that’s the case, we really don’t want him. I am paying attention Mr. Bow Tie! CBs struggled earlier in the season no doubt, that’s why coverage wasn’t tighter. Learning curve son! I would venture to say we could get by with Williams, Owens and Grimes (doubt they want to do that). Don’t act like you know football just because you cover the Falcons. C’mon man! I’ve been watching football since you were knee high to a grasshopper. A good rush will make up for an inadequate secondary all day…except when you have midgets defending 6′4″+ receivers. LoL

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 4th, 2010
8:19 pm

Chop Buster, if you’ve been “watching” (keyword) football “since…knee high to a grasshopper”, then you know that a bad fit for one, may be a better fit for another. If your abilities can’t satisfy one scheme, it may be a perfect fit for another scheme. Again, we don’t need a shutdown corner in our scheme. We just need for a receiver to be defended for 3-4 seconds. Robinson would be ideal for that.

BFALCON

March 4th, 2010
8:22 pm

The Falcons need to sign Bodden. We need to sign a OT and trade J.Norwood to San Diego for a third round pick. Trade that pick to Arizona for A.Boldin. Cut M.Jenkins–not enough production for what the Falcons pay him. Draft D.Morgan or J.Pierre Paul or B.Graham. Cut or trade Jamal Anderson to the Chiefs for G.Dorsey or Derrick Johnson. Anderson needs a change, Dorsey and Johnson do not fit in KC. Also cut Chris “burnt toast” Houston. B.Watson would also be a nice addition as a TE.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 4th, 2010
8:29 pm

Unca’ Bob: Thanks for the congrats. Actually, working on: The life and times of Dunta Robinson. (A little background on the future No. 1 cornerback.). Our buddy Wyche went on Total Access and said it, too. He’s obviously hearing the same little birdies that we’re hearing.

Torgo
: Nothing on Rod Hood. Phone has been ringing, buzzing and flopping around all day.

i need to be stimulated: Don’t think Falcons want to pursue a Drama King like Marshall. But you have to love his game. Dude is a stud.

Bangkapi Ajarn: Yes, Vick is off the books. . . finally. No doubt, there was a method to TD’s free agency madness last year. You have the sense he’ll know what to do with the picks. The comp picks come from the league. The Falcons wouldn’t lose any of their regularly slated picks next year.

The Falcons are not going to lose a top UFA. Redman is the top one and he wants to come back, but it looking like he’ll get a chance to test the free agency waters. (Return a call Chris!!!)

Dunta Robinson has a facebook page:
Personal Information
:
Houston Texans — No. 23
Cornerback
Date of birth: April 11, 1982 (age 26)
Place of birth: Athens, Georgia
Height: 5 ft 10 in Weight: 184 lb
College: South Carolina
2004 NFL Draft: Round 1 Pick 10
2004 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Lil'Dave

March 4th, 2010
8:34 pm

I’d just hate to see Snelling leave for a second round pick.But its going to get interesting.