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Peyton
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Ok, things are getting a little stale on the board, so I am going to start a fire by playing devil's advocate on the Falcons biggest move of the offseason.

Call me dumb, call me a hater, call me a negative nancy, I can take it. But most of all, tell me something to convince me I am wrong. I actually hope that I am proven to be wrong.

I think the Falcons made a panic move signing Dunta Robinson to the huge contract, and that it's possible he won't even be an upgrade over our young guys. To me, it is possible that the Falcons gave a giant contract to a guy who might not even be able to win a starting spot this summer if there was an actual fair competition between himself and a developing Chris Owens. Of course, that's not going to happen, Dunta will be a starter no matter what.

First of all, I'll say that I believe Dunta was a very good football player prior to 2007. Not an elite player by any means, but very good. He made a big splash in his rookie season with 6 INTs and was a solid cover corner after that, but never had another season where he made so many big plays. At no point in his career has Dunta Robinson been a guy that teams were afraid to throw at, even before his injury. That is why the guy never sniffed the Pro Bowl.

In 2007, Dunta suffered an ACL injury that was so severe, some questioned if he would play football again. He not only missed the remainder of the 2007 season, he missed all of the preseason and the first 5 games of 2008. He was eased back into the lineup as a nickelback, and started the last 5 games of the year. He was obviously and understandably not the same player, but he did manage 2 INTs on the season.

After the 2008 season, Dunta was working on a new contract with the Texans. Despite having only 6 starts under his belt following his devastating injury and the fact that nobody really had any idea if he would be the same again, he turned down a contract with $23 million in guaranteed money. The Texans, not believing he was being reasonable but not wanting him to walk without any compensation, put the franchise tag on him, allowing for him to be paid almost 10 mil in 2009.

Dunta was ticked off that Houston cut off negotiations with him and held out in training camp without assurances that he would not be franchised in 2010. Houston refused to give him that assurance. Giving that a second straight tag would have meant $20 mil in salary for 2 years work, I think this was an idiotic stance for Dunta to take in the first place.

So Dunta hurts his team and himself by not coming into camp for the entire preseason, then shows up the week of the first game, just in time to collect his check. When it comes time for the first game, he sends a message to the GM by writing on his shoes "PAY ME RICK" and after the game tells reporters "It was just a little reminder to myself why we are out there, to get paid". Business isn't part of the game for this guy, it is the game. I don't think champions prioritize this way.

I guess being paid $600,000 per game wasn't working for Dunta, so he thought he needed to send a message.

Well, Dunta Robinson went on to have, quite frankly, a bad season. The guy literally didn't make a big play for the entire season. Teams threw on him regularly, and on average, he played against much worse offenses than the Falcons faced last year.

When the season was over, the Falcons were percieved to be in need of a proven veteran CB. The Falcons, trying to insure that they kept fans excited and sold tickets for 2010, signed the biggest name out there at CB, and paid him a freaking rediculous contract.

Interestingly enough, Don Banks, a guy that is pretty well respected on this board, particularly when he is saying something nice about the Falcons, predicted this EXACT scenario with regards to Robinson when he said:

"We know very little about what will take place in free agency this year, but of one thing I'm absolutely certain: Soon-to-be-ex-Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson is going to get over-paid. Bank on it. He is.

Robinson's a decent corner, but far from a dominant one. But in this market, he'll look like the second coming of Deion Sanders in his prime. With a contract to match."

Well let's hope Don Banks and me are both wrong.

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I'll try to convince you, but I'm not sure I'm sold on him either. One thing we have going for us is the hometown element. He was born in GA and says he was a Falcons fan. Hopefully he will have a greater incentive to play and work hard. Also, remember that yes, while he was coming off such a terrible injury, he has had long enough to recover and should be at 100% by the start of the '10 season. Lastly, I firmly believe that he is an upgrade over our current CBs and was certainly the best one available in FA. Hopefully he can coach up the younger players and have a great season. GO FALCONS!

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I'll try to convince you, but I'm not sure I'm sold on him either. One thing we have going for us is the hometown element. He was born in GA and says he was a Falcons fan. Hopefully he will have a greater incentive to play and work hard. Also, remember that yes, while he was coming off such a terrible injury, he has had long enough to recover and should be at 100% by the start of the '10 season. Lastly, I firmly believe that he is an upgrade over our current CBs and was certainly the best one available in FA. Hopefully he can coach up the younger players and have a great season. GO FALCONS!

Yeah, I think the best argument for Dunta is "This will be the first year since the start of 2007 that he is 100%".

I'm just not convinced he ever is going to be 100% again.

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Robinson has waaaaaay too many positives about him to go campaigning for negatives.

We all saw how excited TD and Smitty were signing him.

I trust THEM with their experience and expertise a thousand times more than this entire message board...........COMBINED.

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He did hold Wayne to his lowest reception yards of the year. I think one game was 19, and the other was like 54.

He's a vast improvement of anyone on our team, he was the best available in FA.

He might not have to be that dominant shut down corner like Deion or Revis for us see the much needed improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

Think about him going up against probably the best WR in the NFL in every practice, he faces Wayne twice a year and basically shuts him down. I think Dunta will excel here against the likes of Colston, Smith, and whoever the Yucks think is there #1

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Robinson has waaaaaay too many positives about him to go campaigning for negatives.

We all saw how excited TD and Smitty were signing him.

I trust THEM with their experience and expertise a thousand times more than this entire message board...........COMBINED.

I suspect that "TD knows more than us" will be the prevailing answer.

For the record, that was also what the board said when Rich McKay gave Ed Hartwell a gazillion dollars.

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I suspect that "TD knows more than us" will be the prevailing answer.

For the record, that was also what the board said when Rich McKay gave Ed Hartwell a gazillion dollars.

Rich McKay is a good and decent person, BUT.............he is NOT Thomas Dimitroff.

Not even close.

NO Falcon GM in the 44 year history of the franchise is even close to TD.

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Although he may not be the shutdown corner everybody makes him out to be (including me) he does make a QB think twice about going his way (something the last #23 didn't do). When we blitz and leave him on an island we don't have to worry because we have a CB capable of making elementary plays. Having endured Houston's subpar play for 3 years placed a premium on NEEDING a true #1 CB. Plus he has played against Peyton for years at this point in his career plus other top notch receivers.

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You make some very solid points Peyton. But at the same time, there's no way I can say that I don't think Robinson will be an upgrade. At least to Chris Houston, anyway. Did they overpay him? Yes, they definitely did, I'll support that. He's not worth far as much as they paid him. I think the idea behind signing Robinson is the fact that he does have the talent to perform at a top level. Last season he was sort of in limbo, and I think that it may have somewhat been affecting his play. I'm betting that the front office was hoping when signing him, that he will have somewhat of a bounce-back in the NFL. He doesn't have to get a huge amount of interceptions, by all means, I don't feel that's what we brought him here for at all. I think we brought him here for coverage. There were a lot of plays where passes were caught that probably shouldn't have been, where a little bit of awareness would have helped. One thing Robinson does well, even last season, was see the ball. Even on plays where he completely goofed up and made a mistake, you could see that he was more often than not, if not always, aware of where the ball was in relation to the man he was covering. And that to me is a skill that only some of the top corner's in the league have. I think that's why we brought him into Atlanta. We just need someone that can cover receivers well enough to stop the huge plays down field.

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Rich McKay is a good and decent person, BUT.............he is NOT Thomas Dimitroff.

Not even close.

NO Falcon GM in the 44 year history of the franchise is even close to TD.

Rich McKay has built a Super Bowl champion and a team that went 6 straight years without a losing record, including 5 playoff appearances.

TD has 1 playoff appearance on his resume. We might want to be a little bit more measured in our praise.

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Rich Mckay = TD... naww man.

He has missed on Tye Hill, but the dude was a former first rounder who we thought we could mould. high risk low investments rarely work out.

I have faith, he had a bad year last year, but the pass rush in texas was not nearly as dominant as previous with super mario having an under par time

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I dont think you guys realize how many cornerbacks are "shut down" corners in this league.. I honestly cant think of hardly any.. Revis is about the only one in the league right now or for the past 2-3 years. Bailey maybe in like his early years, but the past 3 years hes been absolute crap.

So before you think "wahh we spent so much money on a corner but hes not a shutdown like Revis or Deion"... How many other teams have one of those in the league?? ONE team.

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I dont think you guys realize how many cornerbacks are "shut down" corners in this league.. I honestly cant think of hardly any.. Revis is about the only one in the league right now or for the past 2-3 years. Bailey maybe in like his early years, but the past 3 years hes been absolute crap.

So before you think "wahh we spent so much money on a corner but hes not a shutdown like Revis or Deion"... How many other teams have one of those in the league?? ONE team.

You are right. So why did the Falcons pay him like he is one of those guys?

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Robinson is definitely an upgrade over Crisp, but if the birds continue to come up short on sacks it really won't matter. No corner in the league can cover all day. So unless 55 and crew can step it up this season I predict another long season for the secondary in Atlanta.

That is the bottom line.

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So we give up our first or third, or both for a higher rated Corner? We chance it with Cromartie for a late round pick or Bodden, who have more question marks? We pick up Kyle Wilson or Kareem Jackson, and throw another young Corner with a stable of other inexperienced Corners? Or we do nothing? I'm not sure what alternatives there were. TD scouted this guy when he was with the Pats and liked what he saw. I trust him, and I like what I see from Dunta's play. So yeah, I'd say Dunta Robinson was worth it.

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I knew this topic was coming as soon as you compared Dunta to TO because he "doesnt put the team first" all because he wanted to get paid like he should have been paid.

Dunta was a CB that TD has wanted for awhile, hes a very gifted athlete who still has tons of potential. Hes gone up against the number 1 qb in the league 2x's a season and that includes both Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison at the WR position. He went up against one of the top 3 WRs in the league every day in Andre Johnson. Hes an instant upgrade over anyone we have now whether you admit it or not. And who is to say hes going to instantly be the number one CB on the team? I remember either last year or the year before that Smitty and TD BOTH said that everyone is fighting for their jobs. Im gunna assume that its going to be the same this year.

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Wonder what the Houston Texans GM Rick Smith , Wes Bunting and Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post all don't know about Robinson that Peyton knows? They all seem to think this was a huge loss for them.

The article is part of our 2010 Path to the Draft coverage presented by FOX Sports Houston. link

For the first time since the second season of the franchise, the Texans won't have Dunta Robinson manning a cornerback spot.

The 2004 first rounder signed a free agent deal with the Falcons, which means veteran Jacques Reeves and 2009 rookies Glover Quin and Brice McCain are the incumbents with the most playing time from last season.

Antwaun Molden and Fred Bennett are also coming back, but general manager Rick Smith said at the combine in late-February that it's important to draft a cornerback in 2010.

"Any time you lose a player like Dunta, who plays at the level that he plays, you've got to think about how you replace that," Smith said.

He was pleased with the contributions of Quin, Reeves and McCain, but also explained that the loss of Robinson means "you still are looking for impact players whenever you lose a player of his caliber."

Analysis from the National Football Post

In an exclusive for HoustonTexans.com, Wes Bunting and Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post examine the cornerbacks group as it relates to the Texans and the 2010 draft.

Synopsis:

The loss of Robinson to free agency was a big blow to the Houston secondary. He started 79 games over the last six years and his departure leaves the Texans with little experience on the outside

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So we give up our first or third, or both for a higher rated Corner? We chance it with Cromartie for a late round pick or Bodden, who have more question marks? We pick up Kyle Wilson or Kareem Jackson, and throw another young Corner with a stable of other inexperienced Corners? Or we do nothing? I'm not sure what alternatives there were. TD scouted this guy when he was with the Pats and liked what he saw. I trust him, and I like what I see from Dunta's play. So yeah, I'd say Dunta Robinson was worth it.

Well it's easy to say it was worth it, because it wasn't our money. If it makes the team better, I guess it doesn't really matter the costs. I'm not certain that it is going to make the team better. I know that nobody in Houston seemed sorry to see the guy go.

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Wonder what the Houston Texans GM Rick Smith , Wes Bunting and Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post all don't know about Robinson that Peyton knows? They all seem to think this was a huge loss for them.

Did they make any effort at all to resign him? Nope.

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I knew this topic was coming as soon as you compared Dunta to TO because he "doesnt put the team first" all because he wanted to get paid like he should have been paid.

Dunta was a CB that TD has wanted for awhile, hes a very gifted athlete who still has tons of potential. Hes gone up against the number 1 qb in the league 2x's a season and that includes both Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison at the WR position. He went up against one of the top 3 WRs in the league every day in Andre Johnson. Hes an instant upgrade over anyone we have now whether you admit it or not. And who is to say hes going to instantly be the number one CB on the team? I remember either last year or the year before that Smitty and TD BOTH said that everyone is fighting for their jobs. Im gunna assume that its going to be the same this year.

Dude, when you just signed to be one of the 5 highest paid corners in the league and you are gettign 20 million plus in bonus money, you are written in with dark black ink.

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Did they make any effort at all to resign him? Nope.

Link? How do you know they didnt make an attempt and Dunta just didnt want to re-sign?

And even if they didnt it means nothing, maybe they couldnt afford what he wanted? Maybe they wanted to go a different direction? Maybe they knew it would be a lost cause because he was heavily favored to come here?

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Another thing of note, the Houston CBs play a whole lot more man coverage than we do. Our base defense is the cover 2 which does not ask each CB to line up witn a WR and follow him all the way down field every snap in single coverage.

There ae many CBs that excel in a cover 2 that would not otherwise, and vice versa. Robinson can play both zone and man coverage very well, I can't wait to see him taking out the other teams best WR each week. We can really mix some coverages up now with him and Spoon. The fact that we have a legitimate #1 CB is, as Joe Biden would say a BFD!!!!

We had no #1 savvy veteran CB last year, now we do. This cannot be underestimated.

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Dude, when you just signed to be one of the 5 highest paid corners in the league and you are gettign 20 million plus in bonus money, you are written in with dark black ink.

Yea because im sure if Dunta looks horrible in the preseason and cant play anyone straight up and it continues the first few games that Smitty wont have to think twice about benching him. If Grimes Owens and Dunta all play at the same level whats the problem with one of them playing nickle?

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Did they make any effort at all to resign him? Nope.

Yes, they did. They tried to work out a contract with him - but he was upset after they franchise tagged him last year and the talks kind of died.

If they placed the tag on him again - it would have cost them 12 million for the year and I believe they knew he would be gone after the year was up ala Peppers.

ESPN:

The Houston Texans are willing to let cornerback Dunta Robinson test the free-agent market, choosing not to place the franchise tag on him for the second straight year.

The Texans tried to work out a contract extension with Robinson, but when talks stalled the team decided not to use the franchise tag. When Houston used the franchise tag on Robinson last year, the cornerback was paid $9.96 million for the 2009 season after he signed his tender.

Robinson disclosed his plans Wednesday in e-mail to KRIV-TV of Houston and the Houston Chronicle. In his e-mail, he wrote that his departure is unsurprising "when you are dealing with a tough business like the NFL." He thanked Texans management and the city of Houston for their support. In return, general manager Rick Smith expressed appreciation for his contributions.

Robinson, who is the Texans' career interceptions leader with 13, started all 16 games for Houston last season.

Robinson had played under a "franchise player" contract last season that paid him almost $10 million. Smith said the decision not to do so again for 2010 was a tough one.

Robinson was a first-round pick from South Carolina in the 2004 draft. Many regard him as the top cornerback on the market along with New England's Leigh Bodden, who also will not be tagged.

KRIV-TV first reported that Robinson wouldn't receive the franchise tag.

Either way - it's way to soon to be labeling him a bust or bang for the bucks.

Maybe we should see how he plays for us before judging him.

Those who feel we should have made do with the guys we had must have seen a different secondary than I did last year.

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