The Atlanta Falcons are pulling out all of the stops to get first round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon signed and into training camp on time, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
The negotiations picked up on Monday with the Falcons talking directly with David Dunn, the chairman and chief executive officer of Athlete’s First, the California-based firm that represents Weatherspoon.
“I’m very confident that we are going to have things done and that he’ll ready to go at the beginning of camp,” Dimitroff said on Tuesday before speaking to the Atlanta Press Club.
Players are due to report to Flowery Branch on Thursday and scheduled for their first practice on Friday morning.
“When I talked to David Dunn and his representatives yesterday, we were very clear that we want to have him here day one,” Dimitroff said. “We’ve been fortunate . . . I think we have a nice streak of having our players ready, getting them signed in time and I think Sean will be signed in time.”
Dunn has not returned phone or e-mail messages.
The process of signing first round picks has been slow league-wide this offseason.
“Agents and players are waiting to see how things stack up,” Dimitroff said. “It’s a slotting system. No one was real energetic about jumping in early.”
As most teams are set to open camps, Dimitroff believes there could be a late rash of signings.
Weatherspoon was the 19th player selected in the draft. Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin was the 19th player selected last season and he received a five-year, $15.5 million deal.
Falcons coach Mike Smith is hopeful that Weatherspoon will be signed in time for the opening of training camp.
“There hasn’t really been a lot of action throughout the first and second rounds,” Smith said. “But of course, the closer that you get to the reporting date, you’ll see more guys start to sign. I know that Thomas and his staff are working diligently to get him done. I don’t want to make any predictions, that’s for sure, but I’m optimistic that we’re going to get him done and have him here when we open up camp.”