Atlanta Falcons: McClure agrees to 1-year contract

00908 Flowery Branch; Former Atlanta Falcons center Jeff Van Note, left, and current Falcons center Todd McClure, right, are shown after Falcons practice at Falcons training camp Wednesday afternoon in Flowery Branch, Ga., Sept. 8, 2010. McClure is the current Falcons center who broke the team record for consecutive starts when Atlanta opened at Pittsburgh last season. Jeff Van Note is the Falcons Ring of Honor center who started 225 games. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

00908 Flowery Branch; Former Atlanta Falcons center Jeff Van Note, left, and current Falcons center Todd McClure, right, are shown after Falcons practice at Falcons training camp Wednesday afternoon in Flowery Branch, Ga., Sept. 8, 2010. McClure is the current Falcons center who broke the team record for consecutive starts when Atlanta opened at Pittsburgh last season. Jeff Van Note is the Falcons Ring of Honor center who started 225 games. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

Center Todd McClure agreed to a one-year contact with the Falcons on Tuesday.

McClure, who turned 35 in February, had his team-record streak of 144 consecutive starts snapped last season. He broke the franchise record for consecutive games during the 2010 season, surpassing Keith Brooking’s mark of 128 (2000-08).

The Falcons drafted Joe Hawley as his heir apparent in 2010. He started 12 games last season and played in all 17 games. He filled in for McClure when he was out after a knee surgery. Hawley finished the season as the starter at right guard.

With the signing of guard Vince Manuwai, Hawley and McClure will likely compete for the starting center position.

Near the end of the season, quarterback Matt Ryan credited McClure for much of his early success.

“For me, personally, he’s been huge in my development,” Ryan said. “He carried me the first two years in terms of pass protection and getting things set in the run game. He took a lot off my plate.”

Before the signing of McClure the Falcons had $2.021 million under the salary cap. Last season he made a base salary of $1.7 million.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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69 comments Add your comment

Are u Serious?

March 27th, 2012
2:33 pm

WELL IT IS A START !!

Patrick

March 27th, 2012
2:36 pm

Thank goodness, would have been a disaster on the O-Line without him there. One of the most dependable linemen in Falcons history, his name will almost certainly be in the Falcons Ring of Honor one day.

Trainwreck

March 27th, 2012
2:37 pm

I don’t mind that at all. Still hope it is an open competition on the OLine though because if Hawley is better at this stage in both their careers, I just want the best out there.

Kobie

March 27th, 2012
2:45 pm

Good signing and I also hope their is competition on the O-line. But D-Led please explain something to me, how is that the Saints can keep signing people and they were supposedly up against the salary cap? I keep reading they have less salary cap space than the Falcons and all the Falcons can sign is some inexpensive veterans and some of our own. The Saints resign their top wideout, get a probowl guard to replace their probowl guard and still have some left over for Lofton. They have their quaterback franchised just like us with Grimes but the Falcons do not have any money. Maybe it is just me but I do not get it at all.

Joe

March 27th, 2012
2:52 pm

Left Tackle please!!

Aaron

March 27th, 2012
2:54 pm

I second that Kobie.

cwltank

March 27th, 2012
2:59 pm

He want make it pat the 1st cut, Hawley is better. There is a reason he was not signed by other teams. Above all it doesnt hurt the roster, injuries do happen & he is a slightly above average center at best, in this point of his career.

cwltank

March 27th, 2012
2:59 pm

Head Mo Fo

March 27th, 2012
3:02 pm

Why hasn’t Marcus McNeil been brought in? McNeil would clearly be able to compete at Left Tackle?

What is McNeil’s injury status?

PMC

March 27th, 2012
3:11 pm

If Hawley were better, they would have 0 reason to bring McClure back.

Ivan

March 27th, 2012
3:11 pm

bringing back the same ol’ line….. this isn’t good.

Row 3

March 27th, 2012
3:12 pm

The Mud Duck is back!

True Falcon Fan

March 27th, 2012
3:15 pm

If “Big Mac” can carry the load one more season and stay healthy – then this re-signing will prove out to be “BIG”

Go Falcons – Good job TD & MS

The Real Falcon

March 27th, 2012
3:16 pm

So much for the OL revamp! I also find it interesting that no AJC blogger has answered Kobie’s question about NO being able to make the cap work while we cannot.

PMC

March 27th, 2012
3:18 pm

Welcome back Todd though, thanks for your loyalty.

buckhead benny

March 27th, 2012
3:19 pm

Its Vince not Kevin Manuwai, fyi

Row 3

March 27th, 2012
3:21 pm

DLed, The remaining cap space does not look good. Has money already been alloted for the up coming draft choices, and UFA’s?

Khaos

March 27th, 2012
3:27 pm

Fire Smitty and Dimitroff

True Falcon Fan

March 27th, 2012
3:32 pm

3.27 – OK – Who are you recommending to replace them??

True Falcon Fan

March 27th, 2012
3:36 pm

Excuse me I meant @Khoas 3:27 pm – OK – who are you recommending to replace them??

True Falcon Fan

March 27th, 2012
3:40 pm

This is what i figured another “Chuck N’ Duck” — QUACKQUACK!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 27th, 2012
3:42 pm

Kobie — That’s a whole story for when all of the contracts come in. The Falcons have spent heavily to get competitive. Now they are counting on their young roster to blossom.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 27th, 2012
3:44 pm

Head Mo Fo — There are no plans to bring Marcus McNeill in for a workout, medical or visit at this time. That could change. Your left tackles are Sam Baker, Will Svitek and Andrew Jackson.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

March 27th, 2012
3:44 pm

Dude…I’m having some issues with the decisions.

(1) I understand that you felt like you had to pay Grimes because #23 is awful….SO, why/who in the hell thought it prudent to give #23 big money in the first place???

(2) You choose to sign a 34 year old defensive end that plays 60% of most games OVER a middle linebacker that has played well over 90% of all games that he has started. Lofton was rarely hurt. Abe is always hurt. Lofton has his entire career in front of him…Abe MIGHT play two more years. Who made this decision???

(3) RB…you re-sign Snelling (good move), draft Rodgers last year (good move), but keep Turner on the squad (bad move). You needed cap space to sign Lofton…you should have cut Turner to give you this. Who is making these decisions????

(4) #88 is a first ballot hall of famer. No doubt in my mind. Does he contribute to your growth and development? Hell no…he only works against your cap space and negates the realization that #2 needs a tight end for the long haul. The falcons are NOT going to the super bowl next year. Should have NOT re-signed him…would have given you space to sign both Lofton AND Abe. Who is making these decisions???

(5) The whole offensive coordinator deal is a mess. “Go along to get along” rarely makes it to a super bowl…or in this case, to a damn playoff win. Smitty needs an offensive mind that is proven, veteran and confident. This guy we brought in has not been to a super bowl and only seems to be a “friend” to Smitty from Jville. Again…who is making these decisions????

Let me say this: if Lofton goes to the Saints and makes a pro bowl, TD’s role should be evaulated. Instead of letting #50 roll, we should have coached him to the point where he only playes 1st or 2nd down…not let him walk.

FBD

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 27th, 2012
3:45 pm

Head Mo Fo — I checked in with his agent to get a medical update.

PMC

March 27th, 2012
3:46 pm

Pat Hill has to be high on Andrew Jackson

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 27th, 2012
3:52 pm

FDB — Good and valid points. However, I object to cutting a 1,300-yard running back.

Nique

March 27th, 2012
3:56 pm

Bad move!!! let Joe play Mc’s done. We should have used that $ to bring in McNiel who even if Baker is the man & the staff feels comfortable with him, could have been brought in to put heat on Sam. If he stays, he needs to really be pushed to bring out the best in him. I wouldn’t have made this move, a waste of limited cap room to me!

Row 3

March 27th, 2012
3:57 pm

New eyes on old guys. The new evaluators have to see value in these guys. I think great coaching will come to the surface. These players have been evaluated with months of tape.They see the talent that is on a roster that has been to the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years.

Chattanooga Chuck

March 27th, 2012
4:08 pm

I was hoping the Falcons would take a look at McNeill. Maybe Baker can come back healthy and be a solid player again.

I’m happy to see McClure back. A good guy and a solid center, the 21st century Jeff Van Note.

Ivan

March 27th, 2012
4:14 pm

Gona be the same ol’ line on Offense. Ryan is in trouble.

Saint Hater

March 27th, 2012
4:36 pm

FBD, you’re talking out your poo hole, buddy. Yuo can’t compare D-Linemen to Linebackers when making these decisions. 5-0 was a servicable MLB, not a dominant DE. That’s like all this talk of Matthews over Jerry, we needed a NT, not a LB. The saints certainly have a chance to make the playoffs and even when the whole thing, as much as I hate to admit it. But there is no way Lofton makes the pro-bowl. I’m not sayig Dent will either, but Lofton is not a Pro-Bowler. Give it a rest. TD knows what he’s doing. Sure, he’s made some mistakes, as has every GM in the league, but he’s had far more successes. Chillout and enjoy some good football.

BIRDSFLYHIGH

March 27th, 2012
4:37 pm

LMAO…… You guys worry to much! The Falcons will be fine in 2012! Watch & see.

BIRDSFLYHIGH

March 27th, 2012
4:39 pm

Tell him again Saint Hater!!!! FBD is confused!

marco from laredo tx

March 27th, 2012
5:13 pm

the way the saints are able to get people is there giving more bonuses and having lower base salary and in about 2 years all the players they signing will receive significant increase in there salary

phil

March 27th, 2012
5:16 pm

let’s see where saints cap is in the next 2-3 years, with all the restructured contracts and prorated bonuses they have signed more players, but it effectively will strap their cap space for the next 2or3 years. Plus they have to try to resign Brees long term next year, I’ll say look back a year or two from now and see who handled this off season better.

Terrernce X

March 27th, 2012
5:18 pm

for the first time in Atlanta Falcon history the team has had back-to-back winning seasons – 4 of them. for the first time in Falcon history the team has made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
all after taking over a franchise in shambles.

this is something to build on – next phase is playoff wins and eventual super bowl. but only a foolish loser would suggest firing the coach and GM

phil

March 27th, 2012
5:25 pm

mcclure signing is very smart,as well as most of our off season moves.I remember thinking last year who is sanders, who is hayden, but they were excellent bargains for us and filled the needs in terms of depth that was needed.

SirReal

March 27th, 2012
5:32 pm

@Row 3 you make good points but i still have to agree with FDB.

I guess we felt like we were good where we were and just needed some new concepts/ideas to fit who we have. Based on these moves however….I still dont see a Super Bowl team. Have to win a playoff game first.

phil

March 27th, 2012
5:42 pm

I bet our defense will be in the top 5 this coming year. We have the players,we haven’t had the right play calling.Plus I believe we have really good potential on the d line(sidbury,beirman,mattews,walker) we need to evaluate them in the rigth system before spending 100 mil on a mario willams.

section322

March 27th, 2012
5:43 pm

Now we are out of cap space and we lost more than we gained. How do we expect any different results?????????? !!!!!!! Too late I already paid for my season tickets again, oh well…at least tailgating is fun!

section322

March 27th, 2012
5:48 pm

QB-Same WRs-Same RBs-Same OL-Same DL-Same LBs-Downgrade DBs-Same…. 2012-13 Season outcome-????????

section322

March 27th, 2012
5:49 pm

I guess we will truly find out if our failures were the fault of the coordinatiors. Go Falcons

Sly Ty

March 27th, 2012
5:56 pm

Hard to believe fans complain like they do. If you don’t like the Falcons, go and cheer for the Cleveland Browns. They need support, QB, WR, DE, RB, Cheerleaders, etc.. Stop complaining guys. Admit it, you are the same guys that said draft Glenn Dorsey, instead of Matt Ryan.

phil

March 27th, 2012
6:00 pm

I am comfortable with the o-line right now.The signings we have made so far are to fill the gaps until the younger guys come around and insurance if they don’t. Remember there wasn’t any off season workouts last year, the young guys might need a little more time to develop. These signings give the time needed for the new OC evaluate and devlop these players in his system. MOST IMPORTANTLY THE MOVES WE MADE THIS YEAR LEAVES US CAP ROOM OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS TO MAKETHE PROPER ADJUSTMENTS WHERE NEEDED!

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

March 27th, 2012
6:01 pm

Saint Hater and BIRDSFLYHIGH,

Thats the problem. All respect to fellow fans…I give you that. You have suffered like I have. BUT…at some point WE must start asking ourselves: DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE ANY SENSE???

I’ll rethink the Turner point…but decisions to keep aging veterans (#88 and #55) over a young developing stud (#50) is highly questionable. PLUS…he is going to the Saints where he is on record for saying that he does not having to play MLB. Dude would have been flexible for the Falcons. However, we mortgaged our immediate future on old vets.

FBD

Sly Ty

March 27th, 2012
6:01 pm

Brent Grimes contract is being factored against the cap spacing. He will not be making in excess of 10 million a year. In my opinion, if he doesnt sign the tag, he is a fool. No one else will pay him half of that contract. NO ONE.

1danielbell

March 27th, 2012
6:03 pm

Cut Baker. The money saved would allow them to pick up a much better player in stead.

Sly Ty

March 27th, 2012
6:07 pm

Fredrick B. Douglas, if you have watched the Falcons games over the last 4 years you will find that Curtis Lofton is an excellent run stopping LB. However, against the pass Sean Weatherspoon, Stephen Nicholos, and Mike Peterson were all better than Lofton. Also, it should be noted that Lofton doesn’t believe in his former fellow falcons teammates.

Sly Ty

March 27th, 2012
6:11 pm

Curtis Lofton said, “I do feel that the Saints have better talent than the Falcons.” Not my words, his words. I was on active duty for 12 years, I would not want to serve with someone who doesn’t believe I am capable of doing my job effectively. Lofton didn’t believe his Falcon teammates were as talented as his new Saints teammates. It was time for the young man to move on.