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We Got Our Work Cut Out, Offseason Answers

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It seems pretty clear what lies ahead

-Hire an OC and DC, I dont know much about this area so I'll stick to personnel

-Retain our key Free Agents. We have a number of players we cannot afford to lose.

-Abraham: Our best pass rusher, has been one of our best players and leaders since he arrived. He deserves to be rewarded. He would make a killing on the free market but I believe he wants to retire in Atlanta. I expect Mr. Blank to reward Mr. Abraham for all he has done for this organization with a nice 2-3 year deal, I think a large chunk will be in bonus form up front so as to have minimal salary cap impact, and he's earned. If you think this guy hasn't gone out and won games for us while injured you've got no clue.

-Lofton: One of the building blocks on defense and a must resign. Paired with Weatherspoon you're talking about one of the best young LB squads in the game. Lofton is an excellent instinctive downhill run defender. He's only going to improve in coverage and as a blitzer with experience. He's 25 and has 4 years starting experience without missing a game.

-Grimes: Another guy we cannot afford to lose. Grimes is undersized but brings excellent athletecism and ball skills, the kind of guy who will create turnovers behind a pass rush.Just as we need to add pass rushers and can't lose our best one, we need to add corners and can't lose our best one. Coming off 2 very productive seasons he had a down year (statistically) and missed 4 games and likely played hurt. It will be interesting to see how it affects his contract. On the market he'd get paid.

Those are the guys that must get resigned. The following we can afford to lose because we have more important needs:

-Biermann-The pass rush needs upgrading and Biermann didn't do enough. He helps on special teams and if he would accept a small deal the more depth the better but he probably walks.

-Decoud-This is a spot we should upgrade if possible, we need a playmaker. Michael Griffin if available would be an excellent fit. We've definately got 1 safety in Moore now we just need the other. If we can do that and add a 3rd starting quality CB and improve the DL the D will be deadly. Plus Decouds fancy dancing makes the team look soft.

-Douglas-Would be great to retain for cheap but Jones and White are the focus of the passing game going forward. The OL needs to be redone before you can worry about playing 3 WRs.

-Hayden-Let em walk

-McClure-We really need to upgrade our size on the interior. McClure has always been an undersized player and we need bigger bodies at C and RG.

-Redman-Probably pursue another vet QB with more in the tank

-Sanders-Maybe resign cheap for depth I think he scored our only points vs NY

-Snelling-A good runner and receiver who can also block, for the right price is definately worth keeping but he will probably want to leave and get more touches. If Turner had 200 reg season carries and Snelling 75-100 I think Turner would look a lot quicker come playoff time.

-Weems-A good returner and special teams coverage player. If he can be resigned for cheap he's good to have

Guys like Weems, Snelling and Douglas would be great for the team to resign but it comes down to needs and salary cap

So now that we've addressed our pending FAs what needs to be done to take this team where we want to go?


The OL is the area we've attributed the least resources to and it shows. We need 3 new starters on the OL. We need a LT, C and RG. Ideally we pickup two great pass protectors so we can shift Clabo inside and beef up the interior.

Potential FAs


Jared Gaither-Massive young LT

Levi Brown-Another big young tackle, could play LT or RT, former top pick

Demetrius Bell-Dont know anything about him

Vernon Carey-Would play RG

Kareem McKenzie-Would play RG


Ben Grubbs-Blue chip OG would be huge pickup, doubt he hits the market

Carl Nicks-Massive LG, again doubt he hits the market

Deuce Lutui-Big run blocking RG

Bobbie Williams-Veteran run blocker, past his prime (35)


Andre Gurode-A big athletic veteran C, could be what we're looking for to atleast hold the spot for the moment, upgrade our size

Jeff Saturday-Saturday is 36 and not much bigger than McClure but if he can still play he would be a huge asset to Ryan's development and the protection via his diagnosing of defenses. We would really have to add a big RG for this to work tho. Could potentially train a young player

Matt Birk-A crafty vet but age (35) is a negative

Chris Myers-The C of one of the best OLs but really doesnt bring a size upgrade, he will probably stay in HOU

Dan Koppen-He'll probably stay in NE

Looking at the whole situation we clearly need a new LT, C and RG.

At LT the only answers I see from the potential FAs are Gaither and Brown. Both would be excellent pickups. If we did get both Brown could play RG or we could shift Clabo inside to RG and let brown play RT. If we can't find a FA LT we'll have to turn to the draft.

At C Gurode may be the best scheme fit in upgrading size and at 32 he probably still has something left. Saturday would help Ryan especially in the no huddle but we'd need a great RG. We may not have many options here.

At RG there are a number of potential players who would be upgrades in Grubbs, Nicks, McKenzie, Carey, and Lutui

With the OL fixed the offense's core is in place in Ryan, Turner, Jones, White and Gonzalez. Players like Douglas and Snelling would certainly help the team.


Our second need is to upgrade the D Line. I already mentioned resigning Abe is a must. Edwards definately didn't put up the sack numbers we needed, he really needs to step up next season. With more edge rushers he can shift inside to DT on passing downs. With Biermann potentially walking Sidbury is the 3rd DE before additions. At Babs definately didn't put up the type of production we expect, Jerry continues to be a disapointment, Peters continues to play well and Walker is good depth. Here we could add both a pass rushing DT and a run stuffer for short yardage and goal line situations.

Potential FAs


Mario Williams-Would be a monster pickup if available, exactly what we need

Cliff Avril-Has been productive beside very good DTs, coming off a big year, he's said he'll follow the money I dont know if they'll tag him.

Robert Mathis-Has been a very productive consistent edge rusher, wouldn't fit on run downs

Andre Carter-Had 10 sacks this year with NE (As did Mark Anderson, both of whom I said we could grab before this season and we needed more DE depth)

Has up seasons and down seasons over the years probably wouldnt put up as big numbers again


Calais Campbell-This kid has put up huge numbers 3 years in a row is 25 years old and 6'8. He gets tackles sacks run stuffs and batted down 10 passes last season. You think Brees can throw over this guy? He's exactly what we've been missing in the middle.

Aubrayo Franklin-A big space eater who would keep our LBs clean and hold the point in run situations, setting up 3rd and long

Brodrick Bunkley-Strong run stuffer, hasnt put up big sack numbers but is a good player, has been durable

Amobi Okoye-An experienced young player who can contribute as a pass rusher, former top pick. Has been productive and durable despite entering the league very young

Shaun Rogers-Very talented but inconsistent, if in shape and motivated very effective. Could be productive in a rotation

Pat Sims-Stout run stuffer, good young player. Missed games in 3 seasons

Jason Jones-Can be productive as a pass rusher, lacks the bulk to play the run

So at the very least we need to come out with 2 quality DL, and if possible add with the draft. The DL is the most important part of our D and we need more difference makers and depth

DE Williams/Avril/Mathis

DT Campbell/Bunkley/Okoye


Our third need is to upgrade our DB squad. The more we do for the DL the less we need to do here. I think it's pretty clear in this league and especially in this division you need 3 starting caliber CBs. If Owens or Franks can be that guy great but they atleast need competition and depth. Decoud is a FA and hopefully we can upgrade.Obviously we can't lose Grimes

Potential FAs


Terrel Thomas-Coming off injury but very productive player with great ball skills and tackling, if healthy would be an excellent fit

Brandon Carr-Young CB can press, breaks up a lot of passes, could be a fit

Rashean Mathis-May come over from JAX to compete for the nickel

Carlos Rogers-Likely will stay with SF

Cortland Finnegan-A good physical player but likely will seek big money and we may want more of a ball hawk

Marcus Trufant-May not fit into SEAs plan, could compete for the nickel


Michael Griffin-Would be an excellent fit and upgrade, brings a lot of skills to the table has corner like cover skills, can tackle, has ball skills, hasnt missed a game and been productive every season.

Dashon Goldson-Has missed games in 3 of 5 seasons but been productive recently having his best season currently

At CB I'd really like to add an impact guy like Thomas or Carr but we atleast need a vet like Mathis or Trufant for competition and depth. Theres really not many safeties so if we got Griffin it would be huge, we may be forced to resign Decoud temporarily.

So if you throw in a good OC and HC, resign our good players, take care of the OL, DL and DBs and sprinkle in some depth I think we're pretty much good to go

So I'll "attempt" a "realistic" offseason depth chart heading into the draft

QB Ryan

RB Turner, Rodgers

FB Mughelli

WR Jones, White

TE Gonzalez

LT Levi Brown (FA)

LG Blalock

C Andre Gurode (FA)

RG Vernon Carey (FA)

RT Clabo

RE Cliff Avril (FA), Abraham

UT Babineaux, Jerry

NT Amobi Okoye (FA), Peters,Walker

LE Edwards, Sidbury

ROLB Weatherspoon

MLB Lofton

LOLB Nicholas

RCB Robinson, Rashean Mathis (FA), Franks

LCB Grimes, Owens

FS Michael Griffin (FA)

SS Moore

K Bryant

P Bosher


In this scenario on offense we bring in 3 starters on the OL and dont worry about the rest as we have our playmakers in Ryan, Turner, Jones, White and Gonzalez. We would have the ability to run and protect Ryan. On D we bring in a couple of productive young D Linemen who fit the scheme, add a vet CB to compete for the nickel and upgrade at FS and we got a team. Then in the draft we can consider adding OL, TE, WR, RB, DL, DB, KR/PR. Taking care of our big needs in FA lets us go after things like an elite kick returner, an athletic TE etc

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O-line LT is the key here I think we go G in the draft,we are set at C I'd leave McClure for another year..

Secondary will be much the same they have to decide what they want to do with DeCoud??

D-line well we need a intimidator inside..I want Super Mario but the more I think about it I really think DT is where we need to beef up we need more pressure coming from the inside this will free up Abe and Edwards.

Offensively I think we are set Ovie will be back Snelling will be gone and we add a speed guy in the backfield.I'm dying to see what our new OC comes up with and whoever comesw in will be licking his chops I think.

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We already have our future C on the roster in Joe Hawley. Hawley was able to step into the RG spot and be a serviceable player. He will be just fine at the C position if we get a good RG next to him. We might be better served finding a LT in FA, a RT in the draft, and move Clabo to RG. Clabo has seemingly lost a step. Let him move back to G.

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I hope they keep Abe, but I am afraid they won't be able to and put a good offensive line in front of Matt. Abe will not come cheap and they need to keep Grimes (who will not come cheap either) in the Falcon uniform. With the offense being like it is, they probably will concentrate most of the available cap to make it work. It is embarrassing to have all those weapons and not score more than they do.

It might work out if the offense is good enough to put up enough points to cover the slack from the defense.

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We already have our future C on the roster in Joe Hawley. Hawley was able to step into the RG spot and be a serviceable player. He will be just fine at the C position if we get a good RG next to him. We might be better served finding a LT in FA, a RT in the draft, and move Clabo to RG. Clabo has seemingly lost a step. Let him move back to G.

I'm like you on Hawley, I think he showed he's a talented kid. Mike Johnson is the one that really suprised me--not sure what stunted his development--injuries? As you pointed out Clabo looked like a G. I'm ok with him at RT. But Baker really really took a step backwards.

The only FA we need on OL IMO is Demetrious Bell from Buffalo. Very underrated LT. Above average pass protector and good run blocker. Get him and then decide whether to jettison Baker or move him inside; combined with a better scheme we could be ok.

But to be fair to the OLIne, they were kinda in the same boat as Ryan. MM's long developing and predictable play calling called on them to block way too long. Whatever OC we get needs to be focused on "quicker" plays. If you look at today's NFL defenses, they are all about disrupting the passer and aggressiveness. Give up points, but force turnovers. MM's offense was much more suited towards the defenses of the 80s and 90s.

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I dnt see us being big spenders in this fa.... I do believe we need to address the LT position in FA since we dnt have a first round pick.. we also still have the talented Mike Johnson who got hurt.. mcclure deserves to come back another year.. you want your most consistent guy on the line...

D-line: a little more difficult, I dnt see us going after Mario since we jus gave Edwards that contract... But for a cheaper price I could see us goin after mathis and let kroy walk... Bring back Abe and let him Maggie and Edwards get after the QB....

Cb: no need to upgrade this spot unless we decide to cut dunta.. but that's not going to happen since TD seems to still have confidence in him.. saying that I would cut Owens and see wat Walsh can do while bringing in depth through the draft...

Safety: I agree decoud can walk. We need someone who is going to get his hands on the ball and be a force on the back end... There are some good safeties in the draft if we dnt like wat we see in FA...

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