Dimitroff: Falcons will not pursue Big John Henderson

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson, right, rushes Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel for the sack during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville won 24-21. (Associated Press).

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson, right, rushes Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel for the sack during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville won 24-21. (Associated Press).

UPDATE, WED, April 28, 3:57 p.m.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said that the Falcons will not attempt to sign defensive tackle John Henderson, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.

Dimitroff was a guest of Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on Sirius radio and was asked about Henderson, who played in Jacksonville under Falcons head coach Mike Smith and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton.

“At this point we will not,” Dimitroff said when asked by Schein if the Falcons were interest in Henderson. “I think that’s probably the logical assumption but we feel like we have a young and evolving defensive line and where we are right now I would say that we will not go in that direction.”

UPDATE, WED, April 28 10:55 a.m.

At this time, there is no trip planned for Big John Henderson to visit with the Falcons, according to his agent Tim McGee.   –DOL

BIRDLAND – The Falcons have drafted defensive tackles rather high in their last two drafts and signed one to a contract extension.

Should the Falcons sign Big John Henderson?

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But with Jacksonville releasing two-time Pro Bowler John Henderson, there are unconfirmed reports that the Falcons are interested. He did play for head coach Mike Smith and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton in Jacksonville.

Henderson is set to visit Kansas City on Tuesday. They could offer him a more proponent role and are willing to pay more than the veteran minimum.

The Falcons drafted Peria Jerry in the first round last season and Corey Peters in the third round last Friday. Signing Henderson would provide insurance in case the young players flop.

Also, the team signed Jonathan Babineaux, who’s coming off his best season, to a contract extension during the 2008 season.

Henderson has started 120 of 128 games in eight seasons with the Jaguars. He was a first round pick out of Tennessee in 2002.

Henderson, 31, made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2006.

Henderson can probably find guaranteed playing time and more money elsewhere.

Should the Falcons be in hot pursuit of Big John? Who will get to slap him in the face before games?

172 comments Add your comment

The Grinch

April 26th, 2010
11:56 pm

Absolutely. This minute. Our three best DT’s are under 300 pounds, and our three best DE’s are under 270. Where’s the beef?

Big Ray

April 27th, 2010
12:10 am

If it were last year, I’d have said “yes” emphatically.

We can say that Trey Lewis has had all the time in the world to develop, but the guy just hasn’t been on the field enough to do anything. JA98 will be ok as a run stuffer, but I’m looking for Corey Peters to move him down the depth chart.

In the meantime, either big Trey gets healthy and productive this year, or he can get gone. Hate to be like that, but we just don’t have time for this anymore.

Big Ray

April 27th, 2010
12:11 am

Then again, I wouldn’t be made if we managed to sign Henderson. Not mad at all.

tree rollins

April 27th, 2010
12:26 am

It would be absurd to sign him after using such high draft picks on this position. Why take somebody’s discards when you have this young talent coming in. If you wanted to do that you should have just kept Grady Jackson. Dimitroff also said he likes his defensive line as they are now. He’s not going to waste his money on this washed up merchandise – he’s too smart for that! Now if a backup quarterback that doesn’t sell insurance as his primary vocation comes available – now you’re talkin” – let’s do it!

tree rollins

April 27th, 2010
12:32 am

The ballad of Big Bad John (Henderson) just drifted off into the sunset. We don’t need any overstuffed linemen on our sleek, fast and quick defensive line. John, we’ll see you at the local 5 Guys hamburger joint – make mine a double meat!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 27th, 2010
12:41 am

Been grading papers and podcasts for my Multimedia, Writing, Reporting and Storytelling students. They pretty good.

Bill — Thanks for the kind words.
screg — Let me check on Danario (I think he must be really slow. He’s got size).

Mystikal — I doubt if Adalius is on the radar screen. He kind of dissed Belichick last year and TD won’t stand for that. They won’t try to bring any real or perceived bad apples into the locker room.

ATLJBO — No problem. That took some time and my tweet followers will enjoy that production.

R. Merriweather — Nice take on the approach. I don’t think Big John is washed up, but starting him would hurt the development of the younger guys.


April 27th, 2010
1:13 am

Okay, folks; why are people so worried about the price tag? It is not your money! This year is uncapped for one thing; also, we have an owner willing to spend his money to acquire talent that will bring a championship to our city! I would like to thank Mr. Arthur Blank for becoming wealthy enough, and willing enough, to change the culture of Professional Football in Georgia. There are certainly fans of football here; however, they have usually reserved their energy for their college team. The Atlanta Falcons have the right men in place to excite the fan base. Starting with Blank to dedicate himself to this franchise, then McKay to balance the checkbook, then Dimitroff to manage the roster and finally Coach Smith and his staff to teach and train the players how to win. The owner, coaches, players and fans here in G.A. are all determined and ready, and willing, and able to win a Championship! We should all expect nothing less from a state that gives so much to “America’s Game.” Go get Henderson because he gets us closer to that goal; the ultimate dream: to be called ‘Champion.’ How many of you readers agree with me?


April 27th, 2010
2:22 am

rafael bush is a great safety , just seen his highlights. hopes he makes the team……… get henderson

san diego dawg

April 27th, 2010
2:49 am

That picture makes Big John look like he’s a biscuit or two bigger than Grady Jackson.This team needed Grady last year. I say sign Big John if the team has roster space & Mr. Blank will write the check. That would be a strong rotation for fresh bodies in the 4th qtr. Can you imaging a QB getting sandwiched between Peria Jerry & Big John at full speed? Mercy.


April 27th, 2010
4:56 am

I would rather save the money for future upgrades elsewhere. I feel very comfortable with our guys in the middle of the defensive line. At this point I feel really good about where the defense is overall. The secondary should be set for years to come, as well as the middle of the DL. If the guys we already have can put a little pressure on the QB, we could have a really stellar year on the defensive side of the ball. On the offensive side of the ball, we are going to need Ryan to not be so scared to air the ball out. Roddy will go get the ball if he will air it out. It will be important for Ryan to put the ball up just to get Roddy excited about going out and getting those big numbers that he wants to achieve. The guy is a legit #1 receiver and if Ryan puts the trust in him to go get it, Roddy will not let him down. It is a psychology game that can play both ways. A QB that believes in his WR will not be disappointed, at least not with the talent that these guys share. They can achieve great things if they trust each other. Ryan was way to scared to make mistakes last year, and has to trust his best weapon to be just that for the team. Upgrades/depth on the OL and WR would be a better use of our resources at this point.


April 27th, 2010
6:06 am

Go get him- 6′7 335 lbs. Most of our picks won’t make the team. Rounds 1 thru 6 won’t be major contributors this year anyway. Let the young guys learn from a good vet.
We are still in need of a WR and RB. I did a quick little research on NFL.Com and here are a few of the names that caught my attention.
What do you think?
Ronnie Brown- 5th year
Justin Fargas- 7th year
Samkon Gado- 4th year
Adrian Peterson- 8th year
Pierre Thomas- 3rd year
Brian Westbrook- 8th year
Cadillac Williams- 5th year
Miles Austin- 4th year
Mark Clayton- 5th year
Kevin Curtis- 7th year
Vincent Jackson- 5th year
Greg Lewis- 7th year
Lance Moore- 4th year
Mushin Mahammad- 14th year
David Tyree- 6th year
Javon Walker- 8th year


April 27th, 2010
6:30 am


April 27th, 2010
6:52 am

It wasn’t us.


April 27th, 2010
7:04 am

Cut J.Anderson and C.Davis sign big John and trade for Umenyiora. This would give the Falcons a first rate d-line and give young guys time to develop.


April 27th, 2010
8:21 am

Heck no we should not go after him. He is one lazy some beech.


April 27th, 2010
8:23 am

Sorry I was thinking of that other UT DT in Washington. Big John is not lazy but since Stroud left Jac. he has been a non factor.


April 27th, 2010
9:16 am

The $12 million makes it a business decision not a football decision.

tree rollins

April 27th, 2010
9:26 am

The only reason I think Atlanta might sign Big John is because Smitty loves his old players from Jax! Other than that he seems exactly like another Grady Jackson and Smitty seemed to want to have nothing to do with him though I have no idea why.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 27th, 2010
9:33 am

Sign him! This isnt baseball where its guaranteed 12 mill for 2 years. At most the Falcons will be on the hook for 7 million. If they are serious about bringing a title to the city, they cannot in a uncapped year let 7 million stand in the way if they feel he can improve the team.

tree rollins

April 27th, 2010
9:34 am

I’m beginning to feel like the only guy in Atlanta that doesn’t think Chris Redman is worthy of being a starting quarterback in the NFL (for about half the season while Matt Ryan nurses a hurt toe or whatever may develop this year). I must have been watching a different game than everyone else last year as I kept seeing pass after pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. It scares me to death thinking we are one toe injury away from an utter breakdown as a team – yet here we are a Half $B franchise letting it all ride on this backup QB. Am I the only one out there that sees it like this?

Mike is Back

April 27th, 2010
9:59 am

Yes, absolutely bring in an experienced vet that is already familiar with your system. He could have a big impact on the young guys…much like Peterson did before…he started to wear down.


April 27th, 2010
10:11 am

Thanks DOL
Danario might not run the fastest 40, but he’s got game speed.


April 27th, 2010
10:20 am

So we wouldnt have the best DT rotation in the NFL with

Jonathan Babineaux
Peria Jerry
John Henderson
Corey Peters
Thomas Johnson/Vance Walker(one gets cut one makes the team)

Trey Lewis will be cut IMO
Same with Keith Zinger
Brian Finneran
Eric Weems
Chevis Jackson
maybe Justin Peele doubt it
Coy Wire is going to have competition as well
Antoine Harris too and Matt Girdiano


April 27th, 2010
10:38 am

Heck yes we SHOULD do everything that we can to bring in Big John! First of all, it amazes me as to how many people 4got that John Abraham had such better seasons when Grady Jackson was in the lineup, and there was a BIG body in the middle that took some of the attention away from him. The minute that we cut Grady, that’s when Abraham’s numbers began to dwindle. Why do you think that the Ravens doubled up on BIG men in the middle of their D-Line this year (Terrence Cody & Haloti NGata)? To keep OL off of Ray Lewis and the other LB’s so that they are free to make plays! Coach Smith used to have the same thing in Jacksonville with John Henderson and Marcus Stroud, and NOBODY wanted to attempt ANY runs up the middle! Look at the Vikings, who are BIG in the middle! On a different note, I love the UDFA picks of S-Rafael Bush, TE-Colin Peek, WR-Ryan Wolfe, LB-Bear Woods (special teams), RB-Dimitri Nance, and the kicker. I think that this unquestionably gives us tremendous depth for competition sake, and with that I believe that the best 53 players will make the team; but WOW, what a team! I forgot to mention Dominique Franks, Brandyn Harvey, & Dominique Daniels! For the first time in quite some time, I believe that the secondary (Safety’s & Corners), are the best that we have had in some time! I look 4ward to the Exibition Season to see who stands out!


April 27th, 2010
11:13 am

I know it will pay off down the line but RIGHT NOW…that falcons are dangerously young on defense. I am all for getting another veteran to help out for a year or two while giving these young guys some time to learn and develop and not be rushed into being “THE GUY”. By adding a veteran you can play the young guys but not feel like you have to play them every down

Baba O'Riley

April 27th, 2010
12:07 pm

What do you mean they gave away bill Fralic’s and Haskell Stanback’s jersey numbers?????????


April 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

It seems to me that Dimitroff’s acquisitions have been much stronger than his drafting of the past two years. I am not saying those drafts were bad, it’s just that his trades and free agency signings have produced better results.
I trust TD’s evaluation of current NFL players.


j.t. whitfield

April 27th, 2010
3:20 pm



April 27th, 2010
3:24 pm

the only free agent we need is darren sharper

j.t. whitfield

April 27th, 2010
3:25 pm

oh and by the way have the Falcons herd that Dallas is letting go of Mark Clayton ?

MMMMMMMMM What do you thing about him?????

Listen to your true fans we do care abut the team !!!

Birdseed: April 27, 2010

April 27th, 2010
3:34 pm

[...] Should the Falcons go after Big John Henderson?, Atlanta Journal-Constitution You knew this was going to come up as soon as the Jaguars released the defensive tackle. After all, he had some of the best years of his career when Mike Smith was his defensive coordinator. He also was the subject of one of the greatest web videos… Ever. [...]


April 27th, 2010
3:34 pm

and a trade for patrick crayton

Smyrna Jacket

April 27th, 2010
4:12 pm

Babineaux to DE.
Change the uniforms.


April 27th, 2010
5:47 pm

are the falcons interested in clint ingram?


April 27th, 2010
7:20 pm

Why is everyone so nervous, we don’t need to sign Henderson, hes proven to be a problem player that we don’t need. The Falcons have alot of good young defensive lineman and the most of them gained good expierence last year. The Falcons also must feel pretty good about Beirman, Sidbury and Davis, so lets calm down and let the coaches do their thing.

GO FALCONS AND GO SOUTHERN RUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


April 27th, 2010
7:24 pm

Bill & DOL…I have been tracking Danario Alexander because the guy is a freak and would make a huge target for Ryan…however the knock on him is that he cant pass a physical as he has had 4 knee surgeries since 2008

As far as John Henderson goes he is a beast and I think that he would help the D however signing him defeats the purpose of what the front office has been doing and that is getting younger, faster and more athletic on D. I keep seeing the Grady Jackson comparisons and Im not sure that is a good thing.

I personally like both Sidbury and Biermann but feel that if Osi is available for a mid-late round pick then go get him.
Go Falcons!!!


April 27th, 2010
8:19 pm

Exactly! Danario Alexander is a beast when healthy!!! Sign him. What have we got to lose?


April 27th, 2010
9:43 pm

the jaguars just released big john henderson he is is one of smittys boys from jacksonville lets sign him he will require double teams all day this will allow abraham and beirman to put up double digit sacks numbers or if we dont get him we need a defensive end what about a trade for osi umenirya what do the giants want for him but if they want too much then big john will do remember in 08 when abraham had 16.5 sacks you can accredit that to big grady jackson for requiring double teams all of our dt weigh 300 lbs or less we need more beef on the d line we have some athletic pass rushing dt’s but no monster 325+ tackles that require double teams so come on dimitroff and smitty we have three ex jaguars on the roster already peterson,williams and fudge one more could no


April 28th, 2010
7:12 am

Great video. $12 mil is too much, however he may want to consider being on a winning team, as opposed to a losing one.


April 28th, 2010
10:57 am

SIGN UP TD! I know we picked up players in the draft based on fit in our scheme and guess what BIG JOHN FITS.

Babs will be suspended and move to DE anyways… Peria is coming off an injury. Would hate to see us miss out on a playoff shot because we are weak in the middle of the defense.

Paying him for two years could be well worth it. I just dont see us making it to the superbowl without one more good free agent pick up in a needed spot at either WR or DT or DE. I dont see it happening and thats reality. Look at the teams who played poorly last year look at their pick ups, they been so busy its unreal. We need to do the same.


April 28th, 2010
11:00 am

or osi!!! come on td


April 28th, 2010
12:02 pm

Big John in the middle of the defense will make curtis lofton a pro bowler. help tudor jamal anderson and the other d-lineman. I seen that this guy has played 120 out of 128 games to me no major injury to date. move JB to end and you have your pass rusher, also do to injuries to some of our players on d-line last year it still a young group with out a lot of experience. make a quality offer with incentives.

Dr. Warren

April 28th, 2010
12:22 pm

56. That’s Greg Brezina’s old number. Weatherspoon has some big shoes to fill.


April 28th, 2010
12:23 pm

No – Henderson only plays well during one year of his contract – the final year because it is the one that determines his next contract. He’s a slacker.


April 28th, 2010
12:32 pm

I see I might have to change my screen name ….

decatur g

April 28th, 2010
12:32 pm

the new me (Marcus)

BullDawg Rick

April 28th, 2010
1:15 pm

You can NOT have TOO many huge space eaters… This Dawg fan welcomes the ole Vol dude!!!

ATL Observer

April 28th, 2010
1:18 pm

I’d say “let him know you’re interested” but he’s not the biggest need in the world. As someone else in the thread said, it would probably be a lot of money for a role player (we’re looking at three years w/o a Pro Bowl now).

Nice to have him, but won’t be the end of the earth not to get him.


April 28th, 2010
1:40 pm

I’d consider it. There is a MAJOR possibility that Babineaux will be suspended for drug possession. He was our best contributor on the line last year. Losing him for four games could be the difference in us going to the playoffs or missing them. I’d give Henderson a look.