BIRDLAND – I was rolling the batmobile down I-20 on Thursday, on the way back to the bat cave with NFL SiriusXM radio blasting from the speakers.
Chris from Atlanta called into the show and asked Adam Schein and Rich Gannon about the Falcons.
Gannon noted that the Falcons neglected the defense on draft day and stated that they’ll likely address some needs in free agency. He believes it would be a good move for the Falcons to sign Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
“They’ll circle back in free agency,” Gannon said. “They didn’t really get any help for the pass rush. John Abraham is going to be 33 when the season starts. They did take Cliff Matthews, a defensive end in the seventh round, but he’s kind of a developmental player. You don’t even know if he’s going to make the team because of the lockout and these players haven’t had a chance to get in there and work.”
Gannon thinks the plan to spruce of the offense by taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones was flawed.
“You just can’t go into every game with a plan to out-score every opponent,” Gannon said. “That’s kind of been the plan there the last couple of years. I don’t think they got any help for the secondary that was carved up in the playoffs. I think that in free agency, what happens is, is that this team looks to get better defensively, especially up front with the pass rush and in the secondary.
“Adam, could I even suggest, the name Nnamdi Asomugha.”
Schein liked the suggestion.
“Wouldn’t that be the idea pickup in free agency for the Atlanta Falcons, Nnamdi Asomugha,” Schein said.
Gannon wasn’t finished.
“When you think of that secondary and what happened to them in the two games against the Green Bay Packers last year, in the regular season game, Aaron Rodgers had a field day and of course in the playoffs . . . they were embarrassed from a defensive perspective. They have to try to get better defensively.”
Normally, getting Asomugha, a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, would not make fiscal sense just a year after spending $57.5 million to pickup cornerback Dunta Robinson in free agency.
But if there is a rookie salary cap in the new collective bargaining agreement, the Falcons could have some leftover cash to go after Asomugha.
Jones was taken with the sixth pick of the draft. Last season, Seattle took Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung with the sixth pick last year. He signed a six-year contract that was worth $48.5 million. A total of $30 million of the deal was guaranteed.
If the rookie salary cap, which some agents are hearing will become a reality, pays Jones substantially less, the Falcons could have room to get a defensive end and maybe get in the Asomugha derby.
Should the Falcons adopt the “Gannon Plan” and go after Asomugha?
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog