Atlanta Falcons: Grimes will not sign franchise tag

The Falcons' defense slowed down Green Bay and New Orleans this season, but they need to get cornerback Brent Grimes back, according to Mayock.  Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons' defense slowed down Green Bay and New Orleans this season, but they need to get cornerback Brent Grimes back, according to Mayock. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

UPDATE: Grimes doesn’t plan to sign the franchise tag.

“We have no plans to sign the tag at this time,” said Ben Dogra, Grimes’ agent. “We hope to be able to continue to discuss [through] all the issues at the appropriate time.”

POSTED EARLIER

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told us at the NFL scouting combine last week that the Falcons were considering placing the franchise tag on Brent Grimes.

The folks in the Grimes’ camp told us yesterday, “I think he’s going to get tagged.”

This morning on 790 The Zone, Dimitroff made it official.

“That’s at the top of our list, as you could imagine,” said Dimitroff over the airwaves from California, where he’s on a scouting trip.  “We spent a lot of time on this decision and we decided that we will put the franchise tag on Brent Grimes. We are looking forward to continuing discussions with his representatives. We are excited about having him back for the next year, if not more. This is a good thing for us as an organization.”

He also addressed why the team feels that Grimes is worth more than $10 million.

“Our feeling is [that] Brent Grimes is an excellent athlete who can move, cover and break on the ball with some of the top corners in this league,” Dimitroff said. “We feel comfortable with his abilities and the way they he’s picked up our system and has settled in nicely over the last few years that we’ve been here. . . .Brent Grimes obviously does that against, big, small, fast or slow receivers in this league. We’re encouraged about having him back.”

 The radio station is the team’s flagship broadcasting partner and the team is moving toward breaking news with media outlets that they have financial relationships with.

The Falcons have to start making some moves on their own players or they will become unrestricted free agents at 4 p.m. on March 13. The deadline to place the franchise tag on a player is Monday. 

While defensive end Kroy Biermann is set to sign a contract extension, several other deals are expected before March 13.

He also stated that the team is not in negotiations with quarterback Matt Ryan for a contract extension at this time, the negotiations with middle linebacker Curtis Lofton are ongoing and the team wants John Abraham back. He did not reveal at what price the team wanted Abraham back.

Here’s the list of the Falcons’ prospective free agents: Abraham, John DE; Chambers, Kirk OL; DeCoud, Thomas S; Douglas, Harry WR; Grimes, Brent CB; Hayden, Kelvin CB; Kelly, Reggie TE; Lofton, Curtis LB; McClure, Todd OL; Peterson, Mike LB; Redman, Chris QB; Romberg, Brett OL; Sanders, James S; Snelling, Jason RB; Weems, Eric WR and Zelenka, Joe LS.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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259 comments Add your comment

Rell

March 2nd, 2012
9:23 am

That would be a lot of money spent on one position

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 2nd, 2012
9:25 am

Yes it would. Zelenka??

PMC

March 2nd, 2012
9:29 am

If it is Grimes, I’m happy to have him for another year. The guy has earned a payday of some type. I believe they can still negociate a long term deal after tagging him if both parties agree. Not sure.

Curtis Lofton and Brent Grimes are two of the better players on this defense over the last several years and they are big reasons why the team has played as well as it has over the course of that time. Hope they find a way to keep them here.

falconfanriseup

March 2nd, 2012
9:30 am

I say tag him but find out how to get a long term deal for next year

Mr. Phil

March 2nd, 2012
9:31 am

The amount spent on Grimes and Robinson won’t seem so bad once a couple people are given their walking papers. (I am looking at you Baker)

PMC

March 2nd, 2012
9:33 am

CONGRATS OPTIMUS GRIMES!!! AKA: Grimetime 20

Mr. Phil

March 2nd, 2012
9:34 am

Ok. So it is 9:34. What’s up?

PMC

March 2nd, 2012
9:37 am

Grimes is going to be tagged Mr. Phil according to TD.

falconfanriseup

March 2nd, 2012
9:37 am

Thomas D just said on 790 the zone that Grimes will get the franchise tag

Mr. Phil

March 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

Cool. Money well spent. Now how do we free up some cap space. (still looking at Baker).

Rell

March 2nd, 2012
9:40 am

Zelenka? ……..

Anyway I like Grimes, and he has worked hard to earn his pay day. He deserves it, but hopefully they can get something worked out that will save us some cap space.

Falconbikerdude

March 2nd, 2012
9:48 am

Zelenka is the long snapper..why are we talking about him?? Brent Grimes is a solid cb and deserves a long term deal. It appears to me that his agent is being very greedy though if we have to tag grimes. With that list, the most important pieces are abraham, lofton, decoud, grimes, mcclure, snelling and weems.. Lets get this done management!!

Dan

March 2nd, 2012
9:48 am

Nuts. He is not one of the top DB in the NFL. I would rather give Walls a chance or Owens was looking good at the end of the year or Franks. We need to put that money toward Mario Williams and Reggie Nelson on D and upgrading our Offensive line

TG

March 2nd, 2012
9:53 am

Can we get Grimes to stay without @iheartmiko?

Joshing

March 2nd, 2012
9:53 am

The tag is not something Grimes was given. It is something he earned.

J dubb

March 2nd, 2012
9:57 am

I had read about the possibilty of Grimes, not being as good in the new Def of Nolan. I guess Nolan and TD and Smitty think that Grimes will still be a top DB in the new system. Obviously, if he struggles, this will be a big mistake. I kind of agree with Dan@9:48 – We need upgrades a lots of positions and Grimes still does not seem like a perennial Pro-Bowler to me.
Lofton is a MUST to get locked down!

Tree Rollins

March 2nd, 2012
9:58 am

I am totally unimpressed with how TD is allocating the Falcons dollars and draft picks – we are running out of both with very little forward progress to show while using up so much of our resources! Am I the only one that sees this?

teamguy

March 2nd, 2012
10:01 am

Apparently TD and our new DC Nolan think he’ll work well in the “new” system, so I’m okay with the move. I think we all have been pulling for this guy since he joined the team. Remember when the best you could say about him was how athletic he is? Now, he’s work his way to become one of the best at his position. Congratulations on a big payday, Mr. Grimes.

Falkor

March 2nd, 2012
10:02 am

one less thing to worry about.

Tree Rollins

March 2nd, 2012
10:02 am

Aside from our excellent quarterback, the team is beginning to remind me of Dan Snyder’s Redskins. We draft poorly and spend a huge sum of money on the wrong free agents – then blame the coach if the team doesn’t achieve it’s goals.

D man

March 2nd, 2012
10:03 am

Patrick Kerney on the NFL network said he thought the Falcons would try to get Mario Williams and let Abe go. I really like that idea if they can make it happen. Mario is a QB killer… :)

D man

March 2nd, 2012
10:05 am

Smart move on the Fran tag for Grimes. I’m still not convinced he is a top tier CB but deserves another injury free year to show it against the tall receivers who have burned him in the past.

Chop Buster

March 2nd, 2012
10:05 am

I’d just like to see how Grimes plans man and press coverage when called upon to do so. He is a light weight and is a liability in my opinion. I can’t say that I’m happy about giving an average guy top players salary for a year–at least it’s not long term. Dude is not all of that.

Bob in Buford

March 2nd, 2012
10:08 am

Like Grimes a lot, but he’s not an elite corner. What a terrible decision.

Reggie

March 2nd, 2012
10:08 am

Tree Rollins

March 2nd, 2012
9:58 am
I am totally unimpressed with how TD is allocating the Falcons dollars and draft picks – we are running out of both with very little forward progress to show while using up so much of our resources! Am I the only one that sees this?

No your not…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results. I like Grimes but bringing back the same players like Kroy,Weems,Decoud, and Lofton will only yield the same results while costing valuable cap space. No other Falcon free agents need to be re-signed after this.

Tree Rollins

March 2nd, 2012
10:09 am

Grimes is a great player and we certainly need him – but he’s not worthy of ‘franchise’ money – same with Lofton, Abraham, and McClure. i’d love to understand what the blueprint is for this team from TD – other than spur of the moment reactions to each new event.

Chop Buster

March 2nd, 2012
10:09 am

Tree Rollins…I totally agree with you.

Chop Buster

March 2nd, 2012
10:10 am

Tree Rollins – your 10:02 comment

Reggie

March 2nd, 2012
10:10 am

Tree Rollins i was with you until you said we had an excellent quarterback

Arm Chair GM

March 2nd, 2012
10:12 am

Arm Chair GM here. Now – here is what i would do… Lock down Lofton, cut Sam Betty Baker, cut Snelling (good but injury prone and taking up $$), cut Abe, and try your best to go after Mario Williams while staying under the cap. Don’t even know if that’s possible to do…

Our problem is we need serious help on both the D-line and O-line, and where in a position where we really cant significantly improve both. So which one will it be? I say D-line. Our offense works well as it is, and should only get better. Burner still gets his 1,000+ yards.

Good defense starts with a good pass rush. We had none last year which lead to our D getting torched week in week out. I could throw for 4 TDs and 400 yards if i had 9 seconds to stand there and get rid of the ball.

Supes

March 2nd, 2012
10:18 am

We are overpaying for Grimes if he’s getting “tagged”. I understand why they’re doing it (need for CB plus a smallish FA pool of people to choose from – impact players anyways) but that’s still too much $ for Grimes for 1 year.

I wish they’d let Abe, Lofton and Turner walk and save some $…

Jeff B

March 2nd, 2012
10:20 am

Optimus Grimes returns!!

Decatur

March 2nd, 2012
10:21 am

I just dont see the big plays that Lofton makes or made since he has been here. Grimes earned his money. Grimes is the best corner the Falcons have had since Deion left town.

va falcon

March 2nd, 2012
10:21 am

what a terrible move . yeah grimes gets alot of picks but if your the most thrown at corner in the league . you are gonna get some picks from time to time.everytime he plays man or press he was beat after the first 5 yard

PreyDawg

March 2nd, 2012
10:21 am

@Chop Buster…do you watch the games dude? Show me a game where Grimes got beat consistently playing man. We did not play enough man in my opinion. The guy is GREAT in man!! I am baffled where you came up with this?? Sure he got beat some, but the best one’s get beat….sometimes. He was very tight in man in the games before he hurt his knee. They guy is a top ten corner in the league. I don’t see how you can say otherwise.

rivercard

March 2nd, 2012
10:28 am

Grimes has been a pleasant surprise but hardly superstar. The needs on oline and dline are so significant I can’t see how they can justify this.

bucket

March 2nd, 2012
10:30 am

Grimes is a good player, but not a franchise tag player. I had high hopes for the Blank, Dimitrov, and Smith regime, but my hopes are fading fast. Yes they have brought us more consistency than we ever had before, but the Falcons are not any closer to challenging for a Super Bowl than they were 4 years ago. Tagging Grimes is more of the same of the bone-headed moves that are all too familiar to Hawks, Braves, and Falcons fans.

jerseyfalcon

March 2nd, 2012
10:30 am

I really don’t think any monday morning quarterback fan knows the importance of a good long snapper is! Seriously…his snaps have been dead on every single time and w/ out him Bosher couldn’t punt, Bryant can’t kick a game winner. If the Falcons had a crappy snapper games could eb lost by that single, and a lot of your minds simple, play.

Mave2124

March 2nd, 2012
10:30 am

I am sure Grimes would rather have a long term deal, but I’d sign the $10.6 F-Tag contract, guarantee the coin and see what the team say come summer. That F-Tag money is more than D-Rob will make this year and more than Grimes has made over his NFL career. I can see the silver lining in this…not sure if his camp will, but I hope so…now, I say, we need to sign Lofton and back up the Brinks Truck for Carl Nicks if Brees gets tagged, make him the highest paid guard, stick him next to Clabo and secure the 2nd most important, but often underrated part of the O-line!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Worldwide Clyde

March 2nd, 2012
10:35 am

Grimes can’t stay healthy and is average when healthy. I think Blank is still running the team and Dimitroff is just a puppet.

Larry

March 2nd, 2012
10:36 am

“Gets” or “Considering?” Which is is, Mr. Ledbetter?

Larry

March 2nd, 2012
10:37 am

Disregard…my bad!

I read the headline and then the first sentence and responded prematurely.

PMC

March 2nd, 2012
10:39 am

Free agency just started, relax about the cap money, we aren’t the Raiders. Those guys have problems, there’s plenty of room to move yet.

Double Zero Eight

March 2nd, 2012
10:42 am

I like Grimes but do not believe he deserves the “franchise”
tag. I am still concerned about his size. I am sure Nolan
provided considerable input regarding the decision. I don’t
think Grimes matches up well against big, fast athletic receivers
like Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green. Grimes is not an elite corner.

The worst thing for the Falcons would be for Grimes to become
synonymous with Joe Johnson, A good player is not the same thing
as a great or “elite” player/

Larry

March 2nd, 2012
10:42 am

This is actually pretty wise.

We really would be gambling to lose him based on the uncertainty of our other options. But, for the next year under Nolan, we’ll know for sure how much we need to sign him or use the money elsewhere based on the stepping up, or down, of our other CB. I still think Chris Hall has the raw talent–and certainly the speed–to be effective…he just needs the confidence.

PMC

March 2nd, 2012
10:44 am

How the hell do you get “average” out of Brent Grimes? He’s been hurt ONCE for a length of time albiet a critical one. He has made play after play after play, so much so that despite of his stature which looks to be an advantage to throw against, teams now avoid him.

He is the best CB on the team. It’s not a bad decision to keep him around. Now they can work out a more cap advantagous deal without having to bid against half the league.

Brian Hunt

March 2nd, 2012
10:45 am

I’m happy for #20. Why are people complaining about his salary like they are the one’s who’ll be signing the checks? The whole point of last year’s labor negotiations was for the higher salaries to go to veterans instead of rookies. The team still has plenty of cap room and I hope that eventually they work out a longer deal that’s friendly to the cap. Good for the Grimes family. I hope he takes Miko on a great vacay to celebrate.

falconfiend

March 2nd, 2012
10:51 am

Great move. I dont see why Abraham is bringing up other defensive end contracts, he should be talking about winning a superbowl with the falcons. i question is internal leadership and his motives. He had so many injuries and is getting much older. He has not done squat in the playoffs, Lets give the youger guys a chance now and lets stop talking about the defensive ends. Signed edwards for 50 mil last season.

falconfan

March 2nd, 2012
10:51 am

They tagged him so they could see how he fits in Nolan’s system. If he doesn’t, they let him walk next year, no strings attached. But if we had given him a contract worth say 4 years 30 million with 16 mil guaranteed, and he didn’t work out, we’d been screwed.
Plus this means we have 10 million coming off the books next year. Still have 20+ million in cap space this year, could be more after some cuts. Just calm down everyone.