Some of the biggest names are still on the table, but Thomas Dimitroff and Co. made a flurry of moves that kept several potential Falcons free agents in Atlanta.
Brent Grimes said he won’t sign his franchise tag, but they are reportedly looking for a long-term deal with the Falcons. The biggest names remain unsigned with only a few days remaining until free agency starts. A look at the re-signings so far….
5 years / $17.5 million / $4 million guaranteed
Even though DeCoud had some critics, the majority of fans thought this was a good move to bring back the 3 year starter at free safety. DeCoud had an excellent first year, but struggled in coverage and tackling the last few.Some think the safety position still needs to be upgraded, but with several holes to fill, soon-to-be limited cap space, and only 2 draft picks in the first four rounds, this was a very good move. DeCoud, along with several other defensive starters, will look to benefit from proven defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Some fans may think this contract was too high, if you look only at the $4 million guaranteed, its a very good deal for both sides.
3 years / $9 million / $3 million signing bonus
Fans mostly seem to like this move as well, but there are certainly many who think Biermann was either overpaid or didn’t want him re-signed to anything other than backup money.Biermann may not have earned a permanent starting role, but he is the ultimate team player, locker room leader, and exhibits outstanding work ethic. You can’t build your team only with big name superstars and Biermann is an excellent player to keep, especially with Mike Nolan coming in with his 3-4 principles. Biermann had shown to be very athletic and was even projected as a potential 3-4 OLB when he came out of Montana.
The deal may seem high for many fans at $9 million for 3 years and reports have varied widely about the exact details of the contract. He did receive a $3 million signing bonus, which likely could be the sum of his guaranteed money. He reportedly also has incentives where he could earn up to $12 million.
3 years / $4 million
This was probably one of the most shocking and pleasant surprises for Falcons fans. Most thought that Snelling might finally be on his way out of town with the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers, the re-signing of Antone Smith, and the Birds obviously keeping Michael Turner. Snelling has been a quiet fan favorite for awhile, and surely increased that appreciation when he broke his jaw in the playoff game and returned to action.
Snelling is the ultimate insurance for the backfield. Many want to see him take over at fullback and thus allowing the Falcons to part ways with Ovie Mughelli and his $4 million dollar salary. He may not be a blocker on the level of Mughelli, but his versatility in the pass game and running threat more than makes up for it.
He also could be kept to take over a large load if thd Birds do in fact release Michael Turner, even though that seems pretty unlikely this year. Ultimately, keeping Snelling gives the Falcons a ton of options going forward. The best part is the price. No terms of guaranteed money have been released, but keeping Snelling and his upside for three years for only $4 million dollars is probably most fans favorite re-signing so far.
1 year / $540,000
Smith was a restricted free agent, so this was a no-brainer. He’s shown excellent speed in very limited time and the hope with most fans is that he finally gets some legitimate consideration under new OC Dirk Koetter. His speed will be a very welcome addition.
1 year / $540,000
Like Smith, Palmer was a restricted free agent so this was another extremely easy decision. Palmer took on the role of backup tight end to possibly be the heir apparent to Tony Gonzalez. Unfortunately, he never necessarily showed flashes of being “the guy” when the legend retires. However, Palmer has absolutely shown that he has a major future with the Falcons at least in a supporting role. Palmer is an excellent #2 tight end option.
The very recent news of the Falcons signing former 3 time Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu has sent shockwaves through the Falcon Fan Nation. If whispers were rampant about Thomas Dimitroff hedging his bets by drafting linebacker Akeem Dent in the 3rd round (a big head-shaker for most fans), then they’re in overdrive at this point. Lofton and Harry Douglas are the biggest remaining free agents to be re-signed and the chances of Lofton getting a renewal just evaporated. It will be tough for most to see Lofton go, but the NFL is a business, and it appears that both the Falcons and Curtis Lofton are ready for new business.
A new contract never happens until it does. The opposite sides seem ominous and even sometimes acrimonious. Many times you think there’s no possibility of player coming back or signing a new deal, but then it magically happens. It just doesn’t make a ton of sense to not bring back HD. There are so many reasons that Douglas makes sense in Atlanta. He grew up here, he grew up a Falcons fan, did superb in college, showed flashes of brilliance in the NFL, was insanely underused with OC Mularkey, and can take over for a soon-to-be aging Roddy White. Not bringing him back makes less sense when you look at the solutions. Promote Eric Weems to the slot? That’s one of the biggest risks they can make. Sign a free-agent slot receiver? You’re going to pay for a new slot WR, likely for a higher price, who has no experience with the coaches and scheme to be better than the player you drafted, developed, and started? Sorry, not re-signing HD makes no sense.
The recent signing of OG Vince Manuwai has shown that the Falcons front office may be living up to their statement of having an open competition at all OL spots. Although it’s difficult to truly gauge the Falcons interest in free agency and the draft, the signing of Mauwai at least shows the Falcons potentially think that Joe Hawley is ready to take over for Todd McClure at center. In other words, it’s hard to think that Hawley is a good candidate for an offensive guard position when they’re adding players to compete who haven’t even played in a year.
The worst kept secret in Atlanta and the NFL: John Abraham and his agent really think he is worth a lot of money for a final contract. The Falcons brass doesn’t think so whatsoever. They aren’t giddy to give a defensive end who’s turning 34 this year, has had his snap count cut way down, and nabbed 5.5 sacks against legit competition (3.5 vs. Jaguars, 1 vs. 3-12 Bucs) an enormous contract. Like Lofton, thank you for your excellent service while in red and black, but it’s obviously time to move on. We hope you find what you’re looking for.
This one seems majorly dependent on the a Harry Douglas re-signing or not. They’ve already taken care of rotational guys like Kroy Biermann and Jason Snelling, so it’s a little peculiar they’ve haven’t re-inked Weems if they thought him worthy of a roster spot.
Been a great Falcon as well, but it’s to move on. Draft or sign and develop a quarterback for the future. Competition to the QB ready to make $13.5 million dollars is never a bad thing. Redman is nowhere close to any competition.
Perhaps the Falcons are ready for a major chance in the free agent market because it appears they’ve taken care of all their rotational type players (Biermann, Snelling). Sanders of course wouldn’t shake the Earth on it’s axis if he weren’t coming back to Atlanta, but that leaves the Falcons with an underachieving free safety and a very oft-injured strong safety and a throwaway pick manning the safety secondary. Hard to imagine James Sanders asking for the moon, but you never really know. He would provide supreme insurance for a very volatile safety position.
Hayden played good when he in fact played, but that was rare. If the Falcons let Brent Grimes go, than this makes a lot of sense, but it appears that Hayden became expendable when Grimes was franchise tagged.
OG Vince Manuwai and LB Lofa Tatupu news to come next post………………
1) Happy with the deals so far?
2) Is DeCoud a legit starter or not?
3) Are you confident of another year of a DeCoud and Moore secondary?
4) Did Falcons overpay for Biermann?
5) Does Nolan have plans for Biermann in a 3-4?
6) Where does Snelling get his snaps next year?
7) Could Snelling take over for Turner if need be?
8.) Your reaction on Lofton staying or leaving.
9) Your reaction on HD coming back or heading out.
10 ) What’s your overall thought on the re-signings to date?