Also, it appears that the Falcons will watch as some of their key players like defensive end John Abraham, middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, center Todd McClure and wide receiver Harry Douglas head to free agency.
The Falcons have already completed some key moves.
On Saturday, the Falcons agreed to terms with linebacker Lofa Tatupu, 29, a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro, move that basically signaled Lofton is headed to the open market.
In addition to securing Tatupu, with a two-year deal, the Falcons re-negotiated cornerback Dunta Robinson’s contract, signed offensive guard Vince Manuwai and re-signed three veterans — defensive end Kroy Biermann, safety Thomas DeCoud and running back Jason Snelling — over the past week.
“They have a great quarterback and a running back,” said Manuwai, who sat out last season after playing eight seasons in Jacksonville. “As an [offensive] lineman, this is a good situation.”
Manuwai is set to compete for the starting right guard spot.
On Friday, the Falcons worked out Tatupu, who’s 6-foot, 250 pounds. The former Seattle linebacker did not play last season because of injury problems.
He will compete with second-year man Akeem Dent for the starting spot. The Falcons could use Dent in running situations and Tatupu on third downs.
The Falcons were ranked 29th in the NFL in third-down defense last season. Tatupu has 10 career interceptions.
Tatupu has a history of knee and concussion problems. He did not play in the league last season, reportedly because of his knee problems.
Robinson re-negotiated his contract with the team to provide them with $1.55 million in salary-cap space in 2012. On Jan. 25, Robinson’s cap-value number for 2012 was $7.55 million. He cap number is now $6 million.
Manuwai, 6-foot-2, 335 pounds, played left guard in 111 games and started in 105.
Manuwai was a solid run blocker, who helped to power the Jaguars’ run game for running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
He suffered a torn tendon in his ankle during the lockout and wasn’t ready to play when it ended.
Last season, the Falcons mainly used Garrett Reynolds and Joe Hawley at right guard. Also, Mike Johnson, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, will compete for the spot.
Manuwai played under current Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter for four seasons from 2007-10 when Koetter served as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.
“It’s awesome because I know the offense already,” Manuwai said. “They just wanted to see me work out and make sure that I had no problems. They made the first offer, and that was it. I didn’t want to worry about looking somewhere else. To me, it wasn’t about the money.”
John Abraham, DE
Kirk Chambers, OL
Harry Douglas, WR
Kelvin Hayden, CB
Reggie Kelly, TE
Curtis Lofton, LB
Mike Peterson, LB
Chris Redman, QB
Brett Romberg, OL
James Sanders, S
Eric Weems, WR
Joe Zelenka, LS
Vance Walker, DT — restricted
Kroy Biermann, DE – 4 years, potentially $12 million.
Thomas DeCoud, FS – 5- years, potentially $21 million
Brent Grimes, CB – Franchise tag – 1 year, $10.281 million
Jason Snelling, RB – 3 years, $ 4 million.
Vance Walker, DT — $1.26 million
Antone Smith, RB – $540,000
Michael Palmer, TE – $540,000
Manuwai, Vince, RG – Undisclosed
Tatupu, Lofa LB – 2 years.
Carl Nicks, guard, New Orleans — Our buddy Mike Tripplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune has an update on Nicks.
Scott Wells, center, Green Bay — Here’s a story by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Wells likely leaving the Packers.
Kendall Langford, defensive end, Miami
Nick Hardwick, center, San Diego –Re-signed with the Chargers.
Mark Anderson, defensive end, New England
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog