Falcons’ negotiator has been busy this offseason

Elwanda Weatherspoon and her son, Sean, the Falcons unsigned first round draft pick. (Brant Sutherlin/AJC)

Elwanda Weatherspoon and her son, Sean, the Falcons unsigned first round draft pick. (Brant Sutherlin/AJC)

BIRDLAND — I hope that everybody is well. Had to slip into a digital free zone to burn off some vacation time.

Also, I got two new bow ties (pink and blue) for Father’s Day and some bermuda shorts (blue and biege).

While I was gone, the front office continued to take care of its contract business. My man Nick Polk, the director of

Samuel L. Jackson used some strong arm tactics in "The Negotiator."

Samuel L. Jackson used some strong arm tactics in "The Negotiator."

football administration, has been busy.

While other teams around the league are fighting and fussing with their restricted free agents, the Falcons signed all of theirs relatively early in the process.

Do you all like my new bow ties? I'm going to wear the pink one with my seersucker suit.

Do you all like my new bow ties? I'm going to wear the pink one with my seersucker suit.

The key was placing the proper tenders on them and also the players — especially Tyson Clabo and his agent – understanding the nuances of the labor situation.

Below is a list of the 10 RFAs who have not signed contract tenders based on official notification to the league office by Friday, June 18, according to NFLLabor.com.

  • Atari Bigby, SS, Green Bay
  • Jarrad Page, FS, Kansas City
  • Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami
  • Logan Mankins, G, New England
  • Jammal Brown, T, Washington (traded from New Orleans Saints)
  • Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego
  • Marcus McNeill, T, San Diego
  • Shawne Merriman, OLB, San Diego
  • Donald Penn, T, Tampa Bay
  • Carlos Rogers, CB, Washington

The Falcons have moved quickly to sign five of their draft picks. Only first round pick Sean Weatherspoon and fifth round pick Kerry Meier remain unsigned.

The market is set around Meier, who was the 165th pick overall. The 164th, 166th, 167th and 168th picks have all signed. Meier will be next up for the Falcons.

There has not been a rush to sign any player in the first round.

Look for Weatherspoon’s deal to get done closer to the opening of training camp in July.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin brings in a 51-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin brings in a 51-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Spoon’s old teammate, Jeremy Maclin, was the 19th player selected in the 2009 draft and he received a five-year, $15.5 million deal from the Eagles, with $9.5 million of it guaranteed.

By getting all the deals down, the team can focus on getting ready for the season. It was just last season, they had a distraction with Roddy White’s brief holdout.

Will this serene business environment help the Falcons get off to a good start in 2010?

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75 comments Add your comment

Jeepers

June 22nd, 2010
7:20 am

Welcome back D-Led. You were missed. You are one fashionable dude!

falcon

June 22nd, 2010
7:34 am

This Falcon’s organiztion is all business. Barely any comparison to the old regime. My season tickets are looking like a great investment.

Bow ties and bermuda shorts huh? I got the new Callaway FT-IZ driver, a Leupold GZ-1 Rangefinder and 3 dozen Titleist golf balls. Christmas came early at my place.

Mitch (the one in Rome)

June 22nd, 2010
7:35 am

Love the bow ties. And yes, the tranquility of off the field issues and strong business savvy makes the game the focus, and that helps to focus on winning the game not winning in PR off the field. I love how this organization is being operated. I’m more proud than ever to be a Bird fan.

Welcome back D-Led. I’ve been hungry for Falcons news. Have a good one!

BFALCON

June 22nd, 2010
7:44 am

Welcome back DOL. I think Bobby McCray would be a good value add for the Falcons. He is a pass rush specialist and would add much needed competition to that DE spot. He is also familiar with coach smith and BVD.Your thoughts

Smiling Jack

June 22nd, 2010
7:54 am

I’m looking forward to a great Falcons winnnig season….all the way to the Super Bowl! Well, I can dream can’t I?

MSS

June 22nd, 2010
7:59 am

go get Vincent Jackson plz

[...] Falcons director of football administration Nick Polk has been busy and efficient this off-season, writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta [...]

Marcus

June 22nd, 2010
8:40 am

I had the same passing thought, MZZ….but at this stage, if we didn’t go grab DE help, we most likely won’t do any FA poaching for WRs.

D-Bird

June 22nd, 2010
8:50 am

Get this deal done! Our current Linebacking core will not hold up for the 1st 3 games. We need another thumper. Have Led, Why haven’t we signed another offenseive weapon for Matty Cold?

William

June 22nd, 2010
9:15 am

What is the penalty for not signing? What is going on that a draftee will not sign. Am I misunderstanding the draft! If he does not want to sign move on find another player. I have seen players miss the entire practice and games. If I were an owner, he would be unemployed for four years or is it six years now.

Hamp

June 22nd, 2010
9:19 am

I is a great day to be a Falcons fan. This organization has class. The only percieved black eye is wanting a new stadium in this economy. But we a settling in to becoming one of the ELITE teams for a long, long time.

I saw Watch Out Saints!!! Go falcons!

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
9:23 am

Weatherspoon is going to sign, his agent is just trying to get the best deal possible.
He is working out with the team.
I think it is called free enterprise. It’s what our economy is based on, I believe.

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
9:25 am

Hamp, I think you just opened the door for the saints fans infestation.

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
9:25 am

GOOOOO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

Hamp

June 22nd, 2010
9:25 am

sorry for the type-os have not had coffee yet.

Hamp

June 22nd, 2010
9:27 am

Opps! no check that Bring it on!! LOL!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: [...]

BULLSEYE

June 22nd, 2010
9:42 am

Enter your comments here

BULLSEYE

June 22nd, 2010
9:43 am

whoops…..I just saw Mike what’s his name on ESPN say that the Falcons had the worst offseason in the NFL. WTF? The man is a fool.

Row3

June 22nd, 2010
9:46 am

Welcome back D-Led, looks like all’s well on the Falcon front. Keep the news coming, we missed you.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 22nd, 2010
9:48 am

this is the only time of the year where i can’t stand #1 draft picks and their agents- just sign the deal and move on. by holding out, IMO, it makes you look like a diva already. this is more $$ than you or your family has ever seen Spoon, so c’mon man and get this over with.
DOL- what’s your take on the Haynesworth situation (speaking of other divas).

PaulieOldSchool

June 22nd, 2010
9:50 am

Belated Happy Birthday, D-Led! Sounds like your sartorial splendor will continue.

And 1

June 22nd, 2010
9:51 am

Next time tell us when …. “D-Led has left the building” lol

PaulieOldSchool

June 22nd, 2010
9:52 am

Ooops. Sorry about that. Happy Belated Father’s Day, D-Led! Talk about not having enough caffeine yet.

Scott Case

June 22nd, 2010
9:52 am

Why is it taking so long to sign Kerry Meier?

hagood

June 22nd, 2010
9:55 am

FEVER! FEVER NIGHT!!!

Bama Falcon Fan

June 22nd, 2010
9:59 am

What are your thoughts on the Falcons taking a run at Albert H. Seems like he could be acquired for a 4th or 3rd.

Infamous

June 22nd, 2010
10:12 am

What?? I thought those bow-ties were clip-ons. LoL

Dear Bama Falcon fan

June 22nd, 2010
10:27 am

Morrus

June 22nd, 2010
10:42 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

Dave

June 22nd, 2010
10:42 am

As D Led mentioned, the market hasn’t been set for first rounders yet. It isn’t a hold out. They were the premium players by definition and want their premium. Market negotiations and yes it seems our Birds are owned and operated by professionals.

DJ Sniper

June 22nd, 2010
10:58 am

I’m not worried about ‘Spoon’s signing at all. Since TD took over as GM, this organization has made sure that all draft picks have been signed prior to the start of training camp, and I’m sure this year will not be any different.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

Just got back from the DMV. Got in line at 7:39 a.m. Daughter had her driver’s permit by 11 a.m.

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
11:23 am

who is Mike whats his name?

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
11:25 am

Should have come to DMV in Effingham Co., it only takes about an hour.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

Thanks to all of you all for the nice welcome backs!!!

Jeepers — Thanks!

Falcon — Super gifts! Let me know how that Callaway ft-Lz is working for you.

Bfalcon — Bobby McCray is a solid pro. I just get the feeling that are set on letting Bierman and Sidbury develop and don’t think they’re in the market at that position.

MSS — Vincent Jackson is a stud. Man that would help.

D-Bird
— I think the GM likes the weapons on that side of the ball.

Row3 — Thanks! Glad to be back.

And1 — Wife gets jumpy when I do that. We don’t stay in a gated community, but neighbor is a cop.

Scott Case — Not sure what the deal is on Meier. Making some calls on that today.

Infamous — No clips on bow ties!!! Real Men wear Real Bow Ties!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

morrus- wrong site again. and do you just copy and paste the same thing over and over? i feel like i’m seeing the same ranting by you.

waynester

June 22nd, 2010
11:31 am

DLed
My deepest sympathies for the precious time callously ripped from your life by the “Patty’s and Selma’s” of this world.
To those worried about the ‘Spoon contract–DON’T.
None of the 1st rounders have been signed yet. It doesn’t mean the rookies are holding out. Historically, the 1st rounders are the last to sign, but our front office has yet to fail to sign their guys. It’ll get done before camp–relax……

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 22nd, 2010
11:33 am

Rekingball — I figured 3 to 4 hours. Didn’t mind waiting though. Just was a little sad. It seems like yesterday she was cruising down the street in a motorized pink corvette toy car. Now, it’s times for the real deal.

JB

June 22nd, 2010
11:35 am

Agree w/ Dave. Spoon isn’t “holding out”. Nobody in the entire first or second round has signed yet. Usually what happens is that the lower rounds (3-7) will sign first, and then the late 2nd rounders will sign deals a little bigger than the early 3rd rounders got. Then the early 2nd rounders get deals bigger than that. The process continues and the top 10 guys are usually among the last to sign. Spoon doesn’t have any say in this; his agent is definately making him wait and follow the process.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

waynester — Good advice to those about Spoon’s contract. No need to worry about that in June. But I’m sure Spoon would like some of $10 million plus guaranteed ASAP. He can get him some new Twitter apps and so forth.

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
11:37 am

Morrus likes to rant on sports blogs. Always the same post.
Teabagger, I think.

JB

June 22nd, 2010
11:37 am

Wait a minute D-led… does that mean you have to get her a full-sized pink corvette?!? =O

rekingball

June 22nd, 2010
11:40 am

Kids grow up super-fast.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 22nd, 2010
12:21 pm

JB — Ummmm. No!

Rick

June 22nd, 2010
12:25 pm

D-led,
I read all the contributors for various Atlanta sports and love them all. But your in a class by yourself.
Always professional, informative and respectful to your readers. I really enjoy your aritcles on the Falcons. Keep it up. Those outside Atlanta really appreciate the professional journalism.
Thanks from a Falcons fan in Virginia

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 22nd, 2010
12:27 pm

Rick — Thanks for your kind words my friend!!!

JB FALCON

June 22nd, 2010
12:45 pm

Just saw the Mike Golic(sp) on ESPN saying we had the worst off season in the NFL. You can tell he’s full of it by his statement in itself. Very little knowledge of football, if any.

LJ

June 22nd, 2010
12:57 pm

@JB Falcon,
Yeah I saw that too. Keep in mind he’s a Notre Dame alum, so perhaps he’s indirectly trying to pump up the Panthers and his new BFF, Jimmy Clausen (Golic reportedly has kicked Brady Quinn to the curb).

Seriously though, the topic was about the worst OFFSEASON, not the worst draft. Falcons signed the top CB in free agency and that was completely overlooked in Golic’s analysis. #moron

Falcons

June 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

Spoon is going to need some of that cash soon, unless it’s his agent paying for nights at the W downtown. Spoon seems bright, I just hope he’s smart with his money.

Very positive to see the Falcons signing away with the draft picks and RFA as well as UFA, should make for very few or no hold outs this year which always translates well with number of wins.