Falcons sign cornerback Brent Grimes; waive Swinton

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes, who led the team with six interceptions. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes, who led the team with six interceptions. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Cornerback Brent Grimes, a former undrafted rookie free agent, was signed to an exclusive rights free agent contract on Tuesday.

In an unrelated move, the Falcons released wide receiver James Swinton, who was on the practice squad.

Grimes started eight of 16 games last season and led the team with six interceptions.

105 comments Add your comment

The New Dirty Birds

March 9th, 2010
5:43 pm

The New Dirty Birds

March 9th, 2010
5:44 pm

Good signing grimes wants to play and will help are secondary in the future GO FALCONS

IceColdATLien

March 9th, 2010
5:46 pm

He’s solid…

IceColdATLien

March 9th, 2010
5:47 pm

Good guy to cover a slot receiver, too.

Michael

March 9th, 2010
5:53 pm

I really like Grimes, He plays hard.

Bartkowski could throw the deep out

March 9th, 2010
5:54 pm

IceColdATLien ….you are correct sir….I just want to add that Grimes has a knack for INT’s, he’s a playmaker….good signing by the birds….

Nookah

March 9th, 2010
5:54 pm

DOL, thanks for keeping us updated on our every move.

Go Falcons!!!

FalconTransplant

March 9th, 2010
6:03 pm

DLed what exactly is an exclusive rights free agent contract? Does it mean a tender if someone else signs him or that we’re the only one’s that can work out a new contract for him?

Rell(Chris)

March 9th, 2010
6:05 pm

Im glad they decided to keep Grimes. He got better as the season went along last year. I like dude, he plays hard and plays the ball well when its in the air.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 9th, 2010
6:22 pm

Falcons transplant: ERFA — players with 0-2 accrued years who’s contracts have expired. Once you sign them, they have no negotiating rights with other clubs and must sign their tender with their old club or sit out the season thus the term ‘EXCLUSIVE.”

ASHEVILLE DAWG

March 9th, 2010
6:24 pm

Thanks for the explanation

mmgtfan

March 9th, 2010
6:27 pm

Great move by the Falcons! Hopefully another good year by Grimes will get him a long term contract he deserves. Secondary should be solid wid with Robinson Williams Grimes and Owens. And add pontetiallly the best safety combination in the league The falcons secondary should be rolling. Now we can add some D-line in the draft and hopefully a WR. Looking good for 2010

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 9th, 2010
6:33 pm

You’re welcome Asheville Dawg.

Who’s the leader for the other starting CB spot? Grimes or Owens or a healthy Brian Williams?

Matty Ice

March 9th, 2010
6:37 pm

any truth to internet rumors about Falcons dealing for Limas Sweed, WR-Steelers? probably not but just wanted your take on it, D-Led….

SirReal

March 9th, 2010
6:37 pm

D. Led, I think resigning ol’ Grimey is a great move. Grimes really came on as the season progressed. I really believe if this guy was just 3-4 inches taller, he’d be really dangerous. He deserves to be on the team and he has earned my respect. He was MUCH better than Houston….

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 9th, 2010
6:39 pm

Checking in to the Sweed rumor. Nothing at this point.

Grimes seemed to settled in on the right side late last season.

Ree Roe

March 9th, 2010
6:51 pm

I would hope Brian Williams will win the other starting spot. Owens & Grimes as nickelbacks are solid.

-REEturn of Roe!!!

Seattle Falcons Fan

March 9th, 2010
6:53 pm

Anyword of any free agents the Falcons are looking into? DE, OLB, or WR?

KC in Smyrna

March 9th, 2010
6:57 pm

I want Owens at the other corner spot. Quite honestly, I hope Brian Williams is able to make it back and lock that spot down, but that is not likely. So I’m comfortable with a battle royale with Owens, Grimes, and Jackson.

We can’t judge the 2010 rotation based off 2009 coaching. Let’s see what the knew DB coach can do.

falconsforlife

March 9th, 2010
6:59 pm

I like Grimes a ton. He seems to fit in with the team perfectly as well. TD has impressed me so far this off season. He is easily the best GM in Atlanta sports. It’s surreal following a team that makes sound decisions, can attract top free agents, and is able to hang on to their existing players.

Bartkowski could throw the deep out

March 9th, 2010
7:00 pm

IMO…the Falcons season hinges on how well Pierra comes back and performs…and Michael Turner…can he rush for 1200yds..??? I prefer BW at the other corner spot…

glw

March 9th, 2010
7:17 pm

Grimes does play hard, so it was good to keep him. HE can help on special teams too. I preferably would like the young guy Owens to win the other corner job. As hard as Grimes plays, too often bigger receivers takes advantage of him. I think Grime’s best role would be as a nickel covering quick slots or small receivers. NO way I want to see him covering the Marques Colston types.

JEM

March 9th, 2010
7:20 pm

JEM

March 9th, 2010
7:30 pm

good move re: Grimes. I predict big things from this guy in the near future. A lot of heart.

waynester

March 9th, 2010
7:44 pm

DLed
Robinson said he’d play anywhere but made it clear he preferred the right side. Williams has to be viewed as questionable coming off the knee(like Dunta last year). Don’t you think we’re still looking to pick up another DB in the 5th/6th or earlier if the player we want is there?

Dirt Diggler

March 9th, 2010
8:21 pm

If Grimes wasn’t a borderline midget, he’d be a top 5 corner

Chemcat

March 9th, 2010
8:29 pm

I like the signing, Grimes plays hard and covers well except for the elite receivers that are too tall for him. He’d be an excellent corner for the slot receiver and would work well in a zone. glw is right. If Williams is healthy, as it stands now I think Robinson and Williams are your starting corners, Owens has great upside potential (may beat out Williams for starting job) and Grimes has the ability to cover slots. We can’t be too deep in the secondary anymore than anywhere else. We need a really good pass rushing LB as well as penetration up the middle. I hope Jerry is up to playing all year this year, if he is I think you’ll see marked improvement from the DE’s. We need help on OL we’re kinda getting a little old there.

Rocky MTN Falcon

March 9th, 2010
8:31 pm

I’m ready for another season! Too bad it starts six months from now

reddjonn68

March 9th, 2010
8:31 pm

Well here comes another secondary era, with your Atlanta Falcons. If this new secondary coach needs anything coming in, is players who don’t have their bags packed 2 leave. I’m glad we also have a little youth that came in last year 2 try and right the ship

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 9th, 2010
8:37 pm

Seattle Falcons Fan — The Falcons are done in free agency as far as big name signings. Perhaps some depth signings are on the way.

Waynester: I wouldn’t rule that out, but you don’t normally find rookie contributors that late in the draft.

john jamieson

March 9th, 2010
8:41 pm

he is too small… he is great against small receivers but struggles mightily against the big go to guys.

Onlooker

March 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

the guy may be “height” challenged……but good grief can he get up….two of those picks last year were incredible….this guy has heart and ups

Falcon 8211

March 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

D.LED please tell me the limas sweed rumor is not true. thanks

Rick from Pi

March 9th, 2010
8:56 pm

Perhaps its me, but this guy may win the RCB position. he plays much better there and had 3(actually 4) intercep[tions in the last 4 games. Dude, he is VERY good. If Chris cannot beat him on the right, he will start. Brian at the nickel(if you had an ACL torn, you’d understand), Keep Chevis because he is very good at the run. Try to get SW at the OLB. . . BG is undersized.

solo

March 9th, 2010
9:08 pm

what about will witherspoon as an OLB.

Chris

March 9th, 2010
9:26 pm

D. Led…it’s always good to see someone engaging the readers as much as you do. You think your other blogging cohorts could learn to answer a few more questions on their blogs?

BirdDawg

March 9th, 2010
9:41 pm

I like Grimes a lot. He really seemed to find his rhythm once he moved to the right side and was very effective. I like the signing of Robinson, but hope it doesn’t hinder the development of Owens who I think will be a really good corner in the not too distant future. With Grimes, Owens, Robinson and Williams in the mix maybe the Falcons could try Chevis Jackson as a backup free safety. I think his speed is the only think stopping him from being a top flight corner in the NFL and at free safety his speed would be more than adequate plus his tenacity and physical style of play would make him very valuable at the position. What do you guys think?

Just saying..

March 9th, 2010
9:41 pm

Nice to see a hard working guy get recognized for all he contributes to the team. Especially remember the kickoff play last season where we basically quit when the returner went into the pile. When he popped out the other side, it was Grimes, head always in the game, who had put himself into position and put the runner down.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 9th, 2010
9:41 pm

Falcons 8211: Called Limas’ agent. The agent had talked to Sweed earlier in the day and nothing came up. It was news to them.

Chris: It’s easier to do out of season. In season, we are on the move a lot. Offseason, there’s a lot of research and sitting around time..

Matty Ice

March 9th, 2010
9:44 pm

Sweed rumor has no validity per ProFootballTalk.com – no worries, Sweed will probably be “cut” anyway, Falcons could pick him up – perhaps – for free

Ree Roe

March 9th, 2010
9:47 pm

@ DOL, what are some potential depth signings do you see us filling? What names do you think we would target?

-fREEdom for Roe!!

Tommy Nobis should be in the HOF

March 9th, 2010
9:48 pm

D Led, pardon my dense-ness, but doesn’t signing any contract take away a players right to negotiate with another club? So, how is the ERFA different from a regular contract?

tom

March 9th, 2010
9:49 pm

Really dumb move. The smurf trys real hard. Results are not worthy of a new contract.

MSS

March 9th, 2010
10:10 pm

i really like Brent he always makes plays on the ball so good move

Like

March 9th, 2010
10:19 pm

You cant help but like the guy. Plays hard all the time. Plus he will be a solid 3 CB

cutter

March 9th, 2010
10:22 pm

Limas Sweed has not proven he could play for Pittsburgh why would Atlanta want him??? A whopping 69 yards total in 2 years in the NFL. He’s a bust for a 2nd round pick.

Hamad Meander

March 9th, 2010
10:22 pm

I’m in favor of Grimes being signed. He seems athletic enough and has a knack for the ball. That being said, let’s not see the Falcons draft a corner. We seem pretty set at that position now.

Weatherspoon. No need to say more.

cutter

March 9th, 2010
10:42 pm

Spoon ran in the high 4.4’s to low 4.5’s at his Pro Day. I feel better now. Spoon is the man to solidify our LB corp for years to come.

South ga boy in the atl

March 9th, 2010
10:46 pm

Ditto on Witherspoon or Spoon as he will be called once he is on the scene in the ATL. Kinda like the JHey kid that will soon be on billboards all over town with Matty Ice and JSmoove, but I digress. I hope we add a DE in 4th or 5th rd for some depth and someone that can be developed. Rather than a WR though I really want us to get Dexter McCluster or a close faximile with our 2nd pick. We need to let Norwood go (yes I know TD and Smitty said we wouldn’t be selecting any RB’s but I, also, remember TD saying he was very happy with the secondary just before free agency started) We don’t just need a backup RB to run between the tackles, we need a Reggie Bush type that can line up in the backfield, in the slot, or split out wide, and return kicks to boot. McCluster would be perfect, and would give us an added playmaker on offense. Then pick up a center to take over for McClure in a yr or 2, and a late round WR to develop when Jenkins contract is up. (yes I know it will be awhile, that’s the only mistake TD has made since he got here)

ATL BirdMan

March 9th, 2010
10:48 pm

I like the signing; he deserves serious consideration. I remember the play on a hail-mary in the end zone when Grimes and Finneran made a play on the ball. Grimes jumped at least six inches higher than Finneran who is about 6′5″. Good upside-potential.