Archive for April, 2012

Falcons draft center Peter Konz, OT Lamar Holmes

Falcons selected Peter Konz in the second round of the NFL draft on Thursday. (Associated Press)

Falcons selected Peter Konz in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday. (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Most of the folks in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin bleed green and gold and are devout Packers fans.

Former Wisconsin center Peter Konz, who was selected in the second round (55th overall) by the Falcons on Friday, said he was raised doing a different dance — The Dirty Bird.

“A [few] people know this, but I was never a Packer fan,” Konz said. “I always did what people told me not to do. So when the Falcons were in the Super Bowl, I was doing the Dirty Bird with the rest of them.”

Former Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler turned in the team’s card and announced the pick in New York.

Just before they were to select at No. 84 (third round) they traded the pick to Baltimore. They received the Ravens’ pick at No. 91 (third round), which they used to take Lamar Holmes, an offensive tackle from Southern Mississippi.

The trade also brought the Falcons a fifth-round pick …

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Cordy Glenn to Bills, Stephen Hill to Jets in the NFL draft

Cordy Glenn (71) is one of top tackle prospects in the NFL draft.  (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Cordy Glenn (71) is one of top tackle prospects in the NFL draft. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn, who played at Riverdale High School, and Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, who played at Miller Grove, were selected early in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.

Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill scoring an 82-yard touchdown. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill scoring an 82-yard touchdown. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Both players were in New York as invited guests of the NFL for the first day on Thursday. Glenn left, but Hill stayed.

Glenn was selected by Buffalo with the ninth pick of the second round (41 overall).

Hill was selected by the New York Jets two picks later.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Continue reading Cordy Glenn to Bills, Stephen Hill to Jets in the NFL draft »

LIVE CHAT: WWTDD – What will Thomas Dimitroff do?

We are in the media War Room and ready for your questions before the second day of the NFL draft starts.

We are in the media War Room and ready for your questions before the second day of the NFL draft starts.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Took a little time to assess the first round late last night, got a few winks, delivered a couple of lectures on the media and the justice system and then started to  ponder this WWTDD question.

Given what happened in the most bizarre first round in quite a while, we have to figure out “What Will Thomas Dimitroff Do” with the 55th and 84th picks of the draft.

The first round broke beautifully for the Falcons, who have heavily scouted offensive tackles. The Falcons can practically sit back at 55 and watch as lineman slips through. Georgia’s Cordy Glenn, Stanford’s Jonathan Martin and Mississippi State’s Bobby Massie, Ohio State’s Mike Adams  and Wisconsin’s Peter Konz were not selected in the first round. All were projected as potential first round picks.

The Falcons may target Adams or Martin if they are slipping and go up and get one of them. Dimitroff …

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Blalock’s deal re-worked to fit in Samuel

Justin Blalock (left) and Tyson Clabo help Ryan to his feet after a hit against Tampa Bay back in 2008. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Justin Blalock (left) and Tyson Clabo help Ryan to his feet after a hit against Tampa Bay back in 2008. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH — In order to free up some salary cap space to fit in Asante Samuel’s three-year, $18.5 million contract, the Falcons restructured offensive guard Justin Blalock’s contract.

Blalock was a free agent last season and signed a six-year, $38 million contract. Before the restructure, Blalock’s cap number was $5.3 million for 2012. It is now $3.86 million. The Falcons likely shifted some option bonuses around in order to create a more cap-friendly deal that allowed them to pursue Samuel.

Before Samuel’s deal and subsequent restructure of Blalock’s contract, the Falcons were $2.6 million under the cap.  

Earlier this offseason, the Falcons restructured cornerback Dunta Robinson’s contract, to provide the team with an additonal $1.55 million in salary cap space in 2012, according to contract documents and Robinson’s …

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Video: Falcons acquire Asante Samuel from Philly

The Eagles sent Asante Samuel to the Falcons. CineSport’s Noah Coslov discusses the move with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Q&A: Asante Samuel happy to be a Falcon

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (22) encourages the crowd during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Miami . (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (22) encourages the crowd during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Miami . (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here’s transcript of the teleconference with cornerback Asante Samuel from Wednesday.

He has no hard feelings toward the Eagles, believes that he, Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes can co-exist and that he and Jacquizz Rodgers can work out a deal for jersey number 22.

OPENING STATEMENT: How is everybody doing today. Ok, I’m sorry that I had to jet out so fast on you guys. This thing happened out of the middle of nowhere. I’ll be back up there shortly. I’m happy to be a Falcon. I know the city is embracing me well. I’m excited. I know the Falcons already have an excellent team, excellent coaches, schemes and talent. I’m just going to add to the bunch to try to get the one common goal. You know what I mean. I’ll take any questions that you all have.

ON WHEN THE …

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Q&A: Alonzo L. Shavers, Asante Samuel’s agent

ALONZO L. SHAVERS

Infinite Sports Concepts

Columbus, Ohio

ON HOW ASANTE FEELS ABOUT THE DEAL: He’s ecstatic. This is the place he’s always admired.

ABOUT WHAT TIME DID YOU GET THE DEAL DONE: Between 1 and 2 p.m.

ON HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT RESTRUCTURING HIS CONTRACT: When you have two parties that want to get something done and we both have a mutual respect for what it is you are dealing with, it’s not difficult at all. In this particular situation, this was something that made a lot of sense for all parties involved. As opposed to being difficult, it was just tedious to make it fit within the (salary cap) so that everybody could be happy. (It was a three-year deal, wouth $18.5 million.)

ON THE KEY TO THE DEAL: What was important for us was that he become a Falcon. From that standpoint, it was about as extensive as it gets. Nick Polk did an excellent job in working with us and getting this done. We were able to come up with something that they can live with and we can live with. …

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FINAL: 2012 NFL Mock Draft

If the Redskins select Baylor's Robert Griffin III, he could be playing his fifth NFL game against the Falcons. Photo Credit: AP

If the Redskins select Baylor's Robert Griffin III, he could be playing his fifth NFL game against the Falcons. Photo Credit: AP

FLOWERY BRANCH – Before we move on to my final mock draft, I’d like to thank all of the front office folks and scouts around the league who spoke to us at the NFL combine and after, all of our draftniks out there especially Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, Charles Johnson, Gil Brandt, Bucky Brooks and Nolan Nawrocki for helping us decipher the talent in this draft class.

Yeah, I’m off the hook this year since I don’t have to project a pick for the Falcons in the first round. I have Cleveland taking Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright with the pick they received from the Falcons.

In the second round, the Falcons will take the best linemen available. If you know who that is, go to Las Vegas right now.

If you need to prep some more for the draft, go to the DRAFT CENTRAL link. All of our position-by-position stories are Top 5 rankings available.

I …

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Falcons trade for cornerback Asante Samuel

 Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during a game against the Falcons last season. Associated Press.

Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during a game against the Falcons last season. Associated Press.

FLOWERY BRANCH — For Asante Samuel, it was a simple business matter.

Once his agent, Alonzo Shavers, and Falcons negotiator Nick Polk finished their numbers crunching, the Falcons traded a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft to the Philadelphia Eagles to complete the deal for the four-time Pro Bowler on Wednesday.

“I’m happy to be a Falcon,” said Samuel, who’ll be expected to help improve the team’s pass defense. “I know the city is embracing me. I’m excited. I know the Falcons already have an excellent team, excellent coaches, schemes and talent. I’m just going to add to [that and] try to get to the one common goal.”

The Falcons re-structured Samuel’s contract that called for him to make $9.9 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013. They agreed to a three-year, $18.5 million deal.

“What was important for us was that he become a …

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Brent Grimes has signed his franchise tender

Associated Press photo Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during a game against the Falcons last season. Associated Press.

Associated Press photo Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during a game against the Falcons last season. Associated Press.

FLOWERY BRANCH –  Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes signed his franchise tender on Tuesday.

Also, the Falcons are in trade discussions to acquire cornerback Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The team is set to make players available after their second day of the offseason training program and could announce the trade for Samuel at that time if the deal doesn’t fall through.

Grimes did not attend the start of the Falcons’ voluntary offseason training program on Monday.  Grimes is set to make $10.281 million this season. It is unclear if both sides will continue to negotiate toward a long-term deal.

In early March, the Falcons placed the franchise tag on Grimes, which guaranteed that he’d make the salary of the top five cornerbacks in the league.

Samuel, 31, was with the Patriots when Falcons general manager …

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