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G-Dawg's Atlanta Falcons Offseason Moves - 2012 Version 1.0


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Atlanta Falcons Offseason 2012

Note: I believe Falcons will try to position themselves this offseason to play both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

Falcons 2012 Salary Cap as of now: $99.7million

Falcons 2012 Salary Cap (after cuts): $93.7million

Free Cap Space: $29.8 million

Falcons allowed Salary Cap Ceiling: $123.5million

Falcons salary cap space after moves below: $0

Falcons Unrestricted Free Agents:

Re-Sign:

Curtis Lofton (4yrs, $20million, $10million guaranteed) - $3million cap hit

Simply put, he is the heart-n-soul of the Falcons defense and needs to be retained. He brings toughness and leadership and is a thumper in run defense. While Lofton is still a liability in coverage, he has improved somewhat.

Harry Douglas (3yrs, $9million, $4million guaranteed) - $2million cap hit

Harry has really just scratched the surface of what he can do, I believe. He had a great rookie year and then basically lost two seasons to the knee injury - one season where he was out and another season where he was not 100%. I would love to see what the new OC - Dirk Koetter could do with Harry in a real passing offense. Mularkey did not seem to know how to use HD.

Kroy Bierrman (3yrs, $7million, $3million guaranteed) - $1.5million cap hit

Kroy has not progressed as much as most of us thought - I won't say he has been a disappointment from a draft perspective - as we got Kroy in 5th round. I just think Kroy is ill suited at the D-End position because he has the speed but not the strength to get around most left tackles. I think Kroy would look much better as an OLB in a 3-4 defense and now that Nolan is here, we are going to get some 3-4 looks.

James Sanders (1yr, $2million, $1million guaranteed) - $2million cap hit

James came in and did a solid job for Falcons and filled in nicely while William Moore was hurt. He should be a good stop-gap for one more year.

Jason Snelling (1yr, $2million, $1million guaranteed) - $2million cap hit

Jason seems to have regressed somewhat but he is still useful as a short yardage power runner and can catch screen passes and protect Matt on 3rd down. I think we should keep him one more year if he does not get a multi-year deal from another team.

Do Not Re-sign:

Brent Grimes - I love Brent Grimes the player. He plays hard and he has freakish athletic ability. However, I think going forward Brent will not be as good a scheme fit due to Falcons playing more "man" bump-n-run" and hopefully with more pressure on the passer we won't need quite as much talent on the back-end. Grimes is likely to get $7-8million/yr and I think he could be replaced with someone making half the money without half the dropoff.

John Abraham - John will be 34yrs old to start the 2012 season and his production seems to be dropping off. Abraham is still talented and can have the monster game now and then but he is not consistent at all. Abe needs to go to a team that is 95% complete to be the final piece. Abe could fetch $8million/yr on a short contract as well. With Nolan here, I think Abe will be less valuable as well.

Eric Weems - simply put, with the new kickoff rules, Weems is no longer a difference maker and Falcons should not spend extra money to retain him. Weems is terrible punt returner - i know he is supposed to be a good "gunner" on punt returns but he is just not that special anymore.

Todd McClure - I underrated McClure for a lot of years but have grown to appreciate his game even though he is not the strongest guy in the world. Simply put, McClure is old and better to let him go one year to early than one year to late - move on.

Mike Peterson

Kelvin Hayden

Cut:

Thomas DeCoud – save $1 million/cap - no brainer

Sam Baker – save $2 million/cap - double no brainer

Reggie Kelly – save $500k/cap

Peria Jerry – save $2.5 million/cap - this is a statement cut.....losers need not apply.

Sign UFAs from other teams:

Carl Nicks, RG-Saints 6’5”, 343lbs 26yrs (5yrs, $45million, $25million guaranteed) - $6million cap hit - this guy is just who Falcons need to have - even if we have to overpay by $10 million over the life of the contract. Signing Nicks says "we are serious" about protecting Matt Ryan and running the ball. The double bonus is it weakens our #1 rival. Nicks is the best guard in all of football and should motivate the rest of our weak offensive ine.

Jared Gaither LT-Chargers, 6’9”, 340lbs, 25yrs (3yrs, $12million, $5million guaranteed) - $3million cap hit - I realize there are red flags galore on this guy but he is very talented and, when motivated, can be a "top 10" left tackle in the NFL. Besides, because of the flags, you get him for 1/2 price of his potential. Falcons make a small investment which buys us a year on the O-Line and if it dos not work out, you cut him in 2013.

Tracy Porter, CB-Saints 5’11”, 186lbs, 25yrs (4yrs, $16million, $7million guaranteed) - $3million cap hit - he has better size than Brent Grimes and can play bump-n-run coverage as he has played in aggressive scheme with Saints for last 4 years. Porter's bugaboo has been injuries but, when healthy, he's a dayum good CB. By letting Grimes go and signing Porter, we save about $4million/year.

Kendall Langford, 3-4DE-Dolphins, 6’6” 295lbs, 25yrs (4yrs, $14 million, $5million guaranteed)-$2million cap hit - Here come the Miami boys. Langford is your classic tall drink of water who is stout and has played in Mike Nolan's 3-4 Defense as a defensive end last year - very productive for a 3-4 DE. This move helps Falcons be able to play the 3-4.

Paul Soliai, 3-4 NT-Dolphins, 6’4” 355lbs, 28yrs(4yrs, $16million, $8million guaranteed) -$2mill cap hit - this is the "knuckle-dragging neanderthal" we need to man-the-middle in a 3-4 defense. Solial is 355lb behemoth who can create havoc and occupy blockers while leaving our middle linebackers to clean up.

NFL Draft (salary allotment for signing rookies = $3.3million):

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#2-55) Jared Crick, DE-Nebraska 6’6”, 285lbs. - his stock has fallen a little as he had an injured senior season. Crick has scheme versatility and can play 3-4 and 4-3 D-End. I like his toughness and compares to Justin Smith of the Niners.

#3-85) Orson Charles, TE-Georgia 6’3”, 241lbs. - this is somewhate of a luxury pick that can only be made if the Falcons plug as many holes in free agency as I have them plugging above. Charles will need to add bulk but he has the speed to be a dynamic weapon much like Aaron Hernandez of the Patriots. He will play a comlimentary role in 2012 while he learns from the God of Tight Ends - Tony Gonzalez.

5th rd) Jake Bequette, DE-Arkansas 6’5”, 271lbs - its unlikely that Bequette will last this long but is another Defensive End with scheme versatility. Has good speed for a big man.

6th rd) Josh Robinson, CB-Central Florida 5’10, 192lbs

7th rd) Christian Thompson, FS-South Carolina State, 6’2”, 210lbs

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I agree with the re-signs, and let gos and cuts, the Free Agent signings is a bit much, if we get 2 of those guys, i would consider it a win,

one thing in your scenario..... who play FS??? not Sanders, and who backs up FS and SS, I agree in letting DeCoud go, he misses tackles, takes bad angles and does not fly to the ball, he occasionally does a little dance after doing somethinig ok

Baker and DeCoud would be the first people I would let go

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DeCoud is a free agent so no need to cut him. Pretty solid overall. Don't like either Miami guys to join us though. Would rather just ignore TE this offseason (because we'll have 7.5 mill off the books next year to worry about a TE with), and draft a NT in that spot since we won't be using NT a lot they would only be situational.

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I agree with the re-signs, and let gos and cuts, the Free Agent signings is a bit much, if we get 2 of those guys, i would consider it a win,

one thing in your scenario..... who play FS??? not Sanders, and who backs up FS and SS, I agree in letting DeCoud go, he misses tackles, takes bad angles and does not fly to the ball, he occasionally does a little dance after doing somethinig ok

Baker and DeCoud would be the first people I would let go

yeah, you discovered my weakness - i don't have a good answer for you at safety - although I do like the thought of Dunta at free safety. If Dominque Franks/Darrin Walls stepped up, then we could have those two plus Tracy Porter at corner and then Dunta could play Free Safety. Several have criticized(in other threads) the move of Dunta to free safety - but I think he could do it.

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I don't think Lofton will only get a $20M contract and even if he did, wouldn't his cap hit be at least $5M since you are giving him $10M guaranteed?

Jerry's cap hit in 2012 is only 845K. Soliai won't come for that baby contract neither. He is a top NT and will get between $6-7M easily.

I love the offseason but the numbers aren't right. That will never happen.

Edited by vel
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Since we are staying 4-3, I don't think it would be wise to let go our only pass rusher in John Abraham. 9.5 sacks in a year where he was doubled and chipped because he got no help in the middle or the opposite side is telling enough that he had a pretty good year and with Mike Nolan will put up Predator numbers again.

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Good thoughts dawg- agree with others that some of your numbers are optimistic. Think Lofton is getting paid- think they drafted Dent so they cushion that loss.

Doubt Nicks is signing for much less than Evans did- 57 over 7 years.

LTs are too valuable- think Gaithers gets a bigger contract than the one you have

Think that if you're getting 2 new pieces on the Oline, you have to keep McClure for another year- he'll look a lot better with Nicks playing beside him and gives the Oline more continuity.

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I think Gaither may get a 3 year $15-18M contract if the market dictates otherwise. He's never made that much before and his injuries will hold him back from much more.

I agree that Evans may be more of a 7 year $60M contract and the Saints may be able to bring him back too. But I would pass on him. That is too much.

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Very well thought out. The only problem I see with your plan is that Nolan says the Falcons are staying in a 4-3.

Falcons are saying they are sticking w/ the 4-3 but I gotta believe that one of the "Godfatha's of the 3-4" defense will want to run some 3-4.

I also think, given the Falcons D-Line make-up and talent(or lack thereof) the Falcons are going to have a hard time bringing pressure with 4-3 front. I like the idea of being versatile enough to play both schemes this year - and - progress onto a 3-4 from here. I think the moves above would allow us to do both - in 2012.

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Falcons are saying they are sticking w/ the 4-3 but I gotta believe that one of the "Godfatha's of the 3-4" defense will want to run some 3-4.

I also think, given the Falcons D-Line make-up and talent(or lack thereof) the Falcons are going to have a hard time bringing pressure with 4-3 front. I like the idea of being versatile enough to play both schemes this year - and - progress onto a 3-4 from here. I think the moves above would allow us to do both - in 2012.

He's run both evenly. Just most recently the 3-4. I believe that we'll see it at times, but not often enough to let go of our best pass rusher.

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Picture Porter in a Falcons uni and Grimes in a Saints uni, now that's some funny stuff. I like your list okay, but I'd hang on to Hayden for another year.

maybe so.......again, this is my opening "1.0" salvo - i'm open to critiques. I think the overall plan is a good one - but heck, this is just for fun.

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Since we are staying 4-3, I don't think it would be wise to let go our only pass rusher in John Abraham. 9.5 sacks in a year where he was doubled and chipped because he got no help in the middle or the opposite side is telling enough that he had a pretty good year and with Mike Nolan will put up Predator numbers again.

Abraham is overrated. He disappears in big games and then gets sacks in bunches against low quality teams and/or O-lines in disarray. I mean, c'mon, over 1/3 of his sacks this season came in one game against the Jags. It's time to go different paths and let Sidbury, who showed tremendous promise this season in limited action, take a larger role.

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