Should the Falcons sign Marcus McNeill?

San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Marcus McNeill (73) is loaded onto a cart after being injured in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders in an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Marcus McNeill (73) is loaded onto a cart after being injured in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders in an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Should the Falcons pursue left tackle Marcus McNeill if he is waived by the San Diego Chargers?

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the McNeill, who played at Cedar Grove High and Auburn, is expected to be waived by the Chargers in March over health concerns about his neck.

For one, they will likely clear the books of $10 million by waiving left tackle Marcus McNeill. McNeill has to be cleared by a team doctor by the third day of the new league year, which begins March 13, or his 2012 salary is not guaranteed. McNeill is not expected to get a clean bill of health from the Chargers.

When healthy, McNeill has been one of the best left tackles in the league. He’s been selected to two Pro Bowls.

One of the Falcons’ main objectives is to improve their offensive line this offseason. Will Svitek and Sam Baker started games at left tackle last season.

The Falcons have medically passed players with neck concerns in the past. Kevin Mathis, Coy Wire and Kelvin Hayden have all been cleared by the Falcons after suffering neck injuries.

Last season, six teams flunked Hayden before the Falcons cleared him and he signed a one-year deal. He ended the season on injured reserve with a dislocated/turf toe.

McNeil, who turned 28 in November, is massive at 6-foot-7 and 336 pounds. His neck and back injuries have led to him playing in just 20 of 32 games over the past two seasons.

Over the first four seasons in the league, McNeill started 62 out of a possible 64 games. He was selected in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NFL draft.

The Falcons’ athletic performance staff will have to make sure McNeil is healthy and then try to get a functional movement screen on him. There might be a simple weight or muscle imbalance that can be corrected to alleviate his neck and spine issues.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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248 comments Add your comment

D Money

February 8th, 2012
1:31 pm

depending on if his injury issues can be corrected. If they feel they can, then sign him. If not, look for talent in the second round.

win

February 8th, 2012
1:32 pm

woodie

February 8th, 2012
1:34 pm

Yeah- Lets give a ton of money to a has been. It seems to be the Falcons way.

THE INFAMOUS DK

February 8th, 2012
1:36 pm

We should be called Atlanta Sandford and Son cause we love everybody elses junk

Marcus

February 8th, 2012
1:36 pm

I our doctors clear him? Hell Ya!!!

Ivan

February 8th, 2012
1:37 pm

Should the Falcons sign Marcus McNeill?

No. Next topic.

david

February 8th, 2012
1:39 pm

If he has only played in 20 of the last 32 games, why would we want him?

Falconer

February 8th, 2012
1:39 pm

Atlanta isn’t doing very well on picking up other teams “rejects” lately. Why waste money on yet another former pro bowler who looks like a toilet bowler when he gets to Atlanta?

Opie

February 8th, 2012
1:41 pm

DLED, An injured McNeil is 10X better than Svitex and Baker!! The Falcon’s don’t have anything to lose by giving him a try out. Dimitroff drafted Jerry, Moore, and Baker knowing that they were injury prone in college.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 8th, 2012
1:41 pm

The Infamous DK — But that was a great show! Lamont, Aunt Ester and my man Grady!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 8th, 2012
1:42 pm

Ivan – Ummm, OK. “Should the Falcons . . . . “

Poppa Falcon

February 8th, 2012
1:46 pm

I’m getting a lil weary of signing players with pre-existing injuries. He is a physical specimen for sure, but I would HAVE to pass on him.

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kevkat

February 8th, 2012
1:54 pm

D.L, have you spoken to any players on this current team who take responsibility for the way he performed in the playoffs and vows to get better. Just asking.

Bob in SF

February 8th, 2012
1:56 pm

Doesn’t hurt to bring McNeill in and kick the tires but honestly even a blocking sled with mannequin arms duct taped to it would be an improvement over Baker.

Dan

February 8th, 2012
1:57 pm

Yea pick him up. We can regulate his snaps also

Dr. Jesse

February 8th, 2012
1:58 pm

Why do scouts never check out the dropouts who are big and strong. Technique can be taught to show dogs….a badass has got to be easier.

Dr. Gooseneck Bender

February 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

If he’s cleared. Likely issue is nickel and dime health and wellness staff for the Chargers. Cheap franchise. Our Docs are top notch.

Or, could their be an agenda to not clear him to save the $10 mil by SD?

He would definitely be the end of Sammy Baker Jr as the Left Sieve on our O Line. Matty Ice is calling all the neck specialists in the country to get this guy cleared.

mike

February 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

we should go after the player they got to replace him. I think he is named gaither.

Pete E. Tong

February 8th, 2012
2:10 pm

Absolutely not. Too injured, too often. His price tag will eliminate other prospective deals, too. But maybe we can go for his replacement, Jared Gaither, if the Chargers do decide to stick with McNeill.

There’s a name I bet you haven’t considered, DOL!

Dr. Gooseneck Bender

February 8th, 2012
2:12 pm

Poppa Smurf, if you sign a player that has played in the NFL, you are going to have to sign them with pre-existing injuries. Most heal fully, but with the pounding they take, the likelihood of reinjury is high. That’s why training staffs are so important. Minimalize the long-lasting injuries.

Boom Dizzle

February 8th, 2012
2:14 pm

Why not, he’s better than what we got now. Would you rather see McNeil with a questionable neck out there or a healthy Sam Baker? That’s an easy decision for me…….(hint: It’s not Sam Baker)

kudzu

February 8th, 2012
2:17 pm

Yeah, big ain’t always better….

mark

February 8th, 2012
2:17 pm

Dled what do you think of going after Carl Nicks from NO, guard play was the biggest issue this year and that would Hawley to move to center? I think you pass on McNeil unless you can get him at a real good number

buckhead benny

February 8th, 2012
2:21 pm

Carl Nicks is a free agent signed him from our arch enemy and solidify the spot that Dahl left- Whatever money it takes Carl Nicks and that line automatically becomes better and hurts the Saints at the same time in your division-

This is what we need to focus on-

The Saints won’t have the money to sign Brees, Nicks and their best wideout- All free agents this year- There is a window

SirReal

February 8th, 2012
2:36 pm

Dont like this trend of atlanta bringing on so many injury prone players and gambling on if they work out. (I.E. Sam Baker, Peria Jerry)

eturn

February 8th, 2012
2:44 pm

N O NOOOOOO Sick and tired of the Falcons bringing in known health issues with players. Then later on it slaps them in the face. Nooooooo

Mr. Phil

February 8th, 2012
2:49 pm

I’m all for bringing in a former pro bowler for a look see. Let’s just not hitch the wagon to him. Kick the tires a bit, see if the dog can still hunt. And do it at a discount. Signing any player is a gamble. Just if he has an injury history you make sure to hedge that bet. GET HIM CHEAP! And I am good with it.

Josshua Malavenda

February 8th, 2012
2:49 pm

“You big dummy” whats with the falcons signing and drafting players with prexisting injuiries they did it with peria jerry, Kelvin hayden and look where its got them nowhere,

Most likely both of them will either be traded or realesed this year and also you waisted a first round pick because of it.

I would sugguest that we stop that trend right now by not signing Mcneil or any players for that matter with prior reecords of ijuries that also includes players like mario williams.

I just dont get that why do teams want to take a risk on players with neck injuries its a very severe injury on top of the fact that football is a contact sport which makes it even worse idea to take that kind of risk.

That trend with the falcons has me scared that they will pick a player like Ledarius green as our Te in the 3rd. He is talented player but his durablity issues make him a big lrisk that we cant afford to waste a 3rd round pick on because we dont have that many picks.

jim

February 8th, 2012
2:55 pm

One teams junk is another teams treasure?

sign someone who is healthy. We have enough rey edwards and john abrahams.

Josshua Malavenda

February 8th, 2012
3:01 pm

Mr Phill- I am all down to get a discount but come on a neck injury you kidding me that is a severe injury that discount isnt worth the risk. I wouldnt take the risk on peyton because of his neck injury and I think he is one of the top five qbs to ever play the game of football. now I would pay him to be my qb coach though but to play. no way!.

PMC

February 8th, 2012
3:04 pm

Heck yes they should (IF HE’S HEALTHY)

He’s a better player than anyone currently on the roster along the line, no kidding they should if they can and he’s healthy.

One Caveat, Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs should be a priority over Mcneill because we don’t currently employ a Right Guard on the roster that can play unless the RT moves inside.

One other perhaps no, they may have to break the bank if they want to get Mario Williams, and they may want to go that way over an injured albiet, very capable left tackle. If he’s healthy, he’ll be the best we’ve had since the heyday of Bob Whitfield (known later as holding 70) He may be the best left tackle since sometime in the 80’s.

ricky neal

February 8th, 2012
3:04 pm

from ricky neal i say lets marcus mcneil his from auburn i say yes we do sign him

Mr. Phil

February 8th, 2012
3:04 pm

@Josshua Malavenda

The only players without a history of injuries are rookies (and many of them not so much). Just about everybody has missed games at one time or another. Only a handful of players go season after season without missing games. The odds are against you if you are looking to sign a veteran.

I repeat, I will take a look at any skilled player if 1)The doctors can clear them and 2) I can get them for cheap enough.

PMC

February 8th, 2012
3:05 pm

You take risks on players with injuries when you’re desperate.

This team is desperate to find some line talent at DE, OG and OT

ricky neal

February 8th, 2012
3:06 pm

from author blanks go out sign marcus mcneil

Mr. Phil

February 8th, 2012
3:07 pm

You mean to tell me you don’t take a look at Peyton Manning for league minimum. Lies I tell you. Lies!

Da Shmooze

February 8th, 2012
3:07 pm

Joshua Malavenda

February 8th, 2012
3:08 pm

JIm- Yes and no depending on what kind of injury. Neck injury,very bad back injury, pec tear type 2 and up, and a very bad acl tear no but the rest would be a yes depending on if they checked out with the medical team.

BigTimeTECHFan

February 8th, 2012
3:09 pm

UGA has some Offensive Tackles that want to play for the Falcons, they hear the wallets in the locker room have lots of money

PMC

February 8th, 2012
3:10 pm

The problem here of course is that they should have freaking DRAFTED Marcus McNeill in the first freaking place.

PMC

February 8th, 2012
3:10 pm

We’ll just keep drafting punters I guess until one can play left tackle…. and or find the distance on his kickoff to put one more than a yard deep into the endzone.

Pete E. Tong

February 8th, 2012
3:11 pm

I wonder if Bobby Massie will be available by the time our draft pick comes around? Maybe Brandon Mosley?

Joshua Malavenda

February 8th, 2012
3:12 pm

Mr phill – he is way too exspensive for me to risk our teams cap sapce on a player who just came off two previous neck suguries plus he a qb so he is bound to get hurt again unless he want to be my coach

ricky neal

February 8th, 2012
3:19 pm

from ricky neal you have 4 players unlikey two be retuning two atlanta falcons t sam baker rb mike peterson kroy biermann ls joe zelenka c bret romberg reggie kelly kirk chambers wr harry douglas wr oive mughelli aren,t for share yet about abraham de or curtis lofton lb or brent grimes cb falcons know who going two be franchised by atlanta falcons 2 players brent grimes and curtis lofton they have big decesion two make

ricky neal

February 8th, 2012
3:23 pm

reason falcons are not likely two resigin mike peterson they are going two be in contract talks with channing crowder lb that was retied his came out of florida remeber he played for florida gators

ricky neal

February 8th, 2012
3:25 pm

espn coniformed that falcons aren,t likely two be resigning mike peterson is they are two bring in channing crowder lg fromer gator

Joshua Malavenda

February 8th, 2012
3:26 pm

Pete- I like how you think.and I think pete tong is pretty good dj also. I saw him spin at ultra and couple times in Atlanta and he tore it up.

Mosely is a beast and is very versatile and will be available
Massie is good also and will be availabe also

Judy

February 8th, 2012
3:28 pm

NO WE NEED PLAYERS WHO CAN STAY IN GOOD HEALTH. WE HAVE ENOUGH INJURED ONES

ricky neal

February 8th, 2012
3:29 pm

from ricky 3 players falcons have not made a decsion on is brent grimes thomas decoud or curtis lofton as of yet we have two wait till march 13th