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01/09/2014 G-Dawg's Falcon Offseason - Free Agency/draft/salary Cap


g-dawg
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OK, first let me say the below will not solve all problems. Simply put, Falcons have too many issues to fix them all in one off-season. The lack of depth on this team in 2013 is appalling. So consider these moves a down payment on a two year roster overhaul to get this team where it needs to be. Before the critics come in, I will say the shortcomings in this exercise below is I don't really fix the offensive tackle position, tight end position, nor the free safety position. I also add no new blood or depth to the linebacking corps. I punt on RB position until 2015 season as I believe RB is a position you want to be young at when the offensive line is completely rebuilt - we are fine at RB in 2014 with a better O-Line. In happier news, I think most of you will be happy with the new defensive front four.

$128.7mm - Projected 2014 NFL Salary Cap

-116.7mm - Current Cap charge of Falcons (Top 51 salaries)

$ 12.0mm - Falcons Cap Room as of right now

$ 3.5mm - Carryover from 2013 unused cap

$ 15.5mm - Adjusted Falcon Cap Room

Recommended Cuts (Cap Savings):

$7.0mm - Tony Gonzalez, TE (retire)

$4.5mm - Asante Samuel, CB

$3.5mm - Osi Umenyiora, DE (will be 34yrs old and diminishing)

$3.0mm - Thomas DeCoud, FS (there is no room on roster for a guy scared to tackle)

$2.8mm - Matt Bryant, PK (still great player, but we draft a good kicker and save $2m)

$2.0mm - Steven Nicholas, OLB (too much money for back-up)

$1.4mm - Jason Snelling, RB (sentimental favorite but time to go)

$1.3mm - Garrett Reynolds, RG (no explanation needed)

$0.7mm - Cliff Matthews, DE (just too many better guys ahead of him

$26.2mm - Additional Cap Room Created

$41.7mm - New Falcons Cap Room before any signings

Re-Signings:

<$2.0mm>Roddy White, WR (Savings from Re-structure/Extend)

$2.5mm Corey Peters, DT (3yrs, $7.5mm)

$2.5mm Robert McClain, CB (2yrs, $5.0mm)

$2.0mm Joe Hawley, OC (2yrs, $4.0mm)

$1.0mm Dominque Franks, CB (1yr, $1.0mm)

$1.0mm Drew Davis, WR (1yr, $1.0mm)

$7.0mm Added to Salary Cap Charge with Player Re-Signings

Unrestricted Free Agency:

$9.0mm - Michael Johnson, DE-Bengals (5yrs, $45mm - avg 9mm/yr)

$5.0mm - Alex Mack, OC-Browns (6yrs, $38mm - avg $6.33mm/yr)

$4.5mm - Linval Joseph, DT-NY Giants (4yrs, $22mm - avg $5.5mm/yr)

$18.5mm - Added to Salary Cap Charge with UFA signings

$ 8.0mm - Falcons Projected Rookie Pool Allotment for 2014(#6 overall)

$ 8.2mm - Remaining Salary Cap Money (to be carried to 2015) - helps w/ re-signing Julio next year.

2015 Salary Cap Victims: Steven Jackson, Harry Douglas, possibly Sam Baker

Comments on New Players:

Unrestricted Free Agency:

DE-Michael Johnson/Bengals - 6'7", 270lbs - age 27 - this former Georgia Tech player needs to come home to the ATL. I was cooling on him since his sack numbers have dropped so drastically this year (from 11.5 to 3.5) until I did some more research. Sure Geno was gone much of the year and that affected MJ's numbers. But did you know this: he has had a very good year nevertheless - 17 QB hits, 41 QB hurries, 7 batted passes and rated as one of the best run stoppers as well by PFF. This guy is a stud, in prime of his career and has prototype size/speed.

MJ%2520Preps%2520for%2520Play.jpg

OC-Alex Mack/Browns - 6'4", 310lbs - age 28 - this California graduate has lived up to his 1st round draft billing. He is widely and longly recognized as one of the best centers in the game and will be the leader of the offensive line that this team so desperately needs. He is a plus in both run and pass blocking as well as proficient in all the line calls. He will make the entire unit function better and help all O-Linemen.

DT-Linval Joseph/NY Giants - 6'4", 332lbs - age 25 - this East Carolina graduate is a beast in the interior that the Falcons so desperately crave. He won't put up a lot of stats but he will clog the middle in the run game and take-up extra blockers which will leave the linebacking corps free to make plays going foward instead of backward. He also pushes the pocket in the pass rush.

Linval%2BJoseph%2BDallas%2BCowboys%2Bv%2BNew%2BYork%2BGiants%2BlVaNmSLaIRJl.jpg

NFL Draft(did get these guys in draft simulator that seemed somewhat realistic):

1st - DE-Jadeveon Clowney/South Carolina - I'm starting to believe he might just drop in our lap at #6. If not, then this draft is excrement as I would not entertain trading up unless he dropped to the 4th or 5th pick and the compensation was light to move up 1-2 spots (like a 3rd or 4th rounder this year and 2nd rounder in 2015). If Bortles, Bridgewater and Manziel all go top 5, it could be close that Clowney will fall. Obviously if Clowney is there, he is an obvious pick for Falcons if they feel he won't have any major off-field issues.

jadeveon-clowney-insurance-2013.jpg

2nd - DT-Ra'Shead Hageman/Minnesota - simply put, defensive tackles normally drop in the draft and there are a few ahead of Hageman (Nix/Tuitt) and a lot of D-Tackles drafted early last year so I think a fall to the top of 2nd round is reasonable. Hageman has the versatile size (6'6", 310lbs) to play both 4-3 DT and 3-4 DE and is a very good pass rusher for an interior defender.

Ra-Shede-Hageman-Minnesota-Golden-Gophers-October-26-2013.jpg

3rd - OG-Gabe Jackson/Miss. State - this guy is the masher/mauler and good pass protector that the Falcons need to stabilize the right side of the offensive line. Put him next to Alex Mack and Gabe will be fine as a rookie and can even help the right tackle. Eventually can move to LG when Blalock is gone.

4th - DT-Anthony Johnson/LSU - was very highly recruited coming out of high school and was somewhat of an underachiever in college - is a "flash player" and known as "the Freak" for his ability to make very athletic plays on the interior - rotational pass rusher initially with ability to develop into much more.

5th - CB-Chris Davis/Auburn - very good cover corner and electric PR/KR. Will make the team as the 5th CB and learn on the job but contribute immediately in the return game.

9511224.jpeg

6th - PK-Chris Boswell/Rice - very good placekicker with strong leg and good accuracy. Will make some mistakes and miss a kick here or there that Matt Bryant would not but good long-term solution and right time to make the move.

7th - TE-Marcel Jensen/Fresno State - very imposing strong physical player at 6'6" 270lbs that poses as a big target - good blocker with skill set to develop into a starting tight end - not a finished product.

.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart:

Offense:

QB - M. Ryan/D. Davis/S. Renfree

FB - B. Ewing/P. DiMarco

RB - S. Jackson/J. Rodgers/A. Smith

WR- J. Jones/H. Douglas/D. Johnson

WR - R. White/D. Davis

TE - L. Toilolo/M. Jensen

LT - S. Baker/ L. Holmes/R. Schrader

LG - J. Blalcock/ H. Gunn

OC - A. Mack/J. Hawley

RG - G. Jackson/P. Konz

RT - L. Holmes/T. Jones

Defense:

RDE: J. Clowney/S. Maponga

DT: L. Joseph/A. Johnson

DT: R. Hageman/C. Peters

LDE: M. Johnson/J. Massaquoi/M. Goodman

OLB: K. Bierrman/J. Bartu

MLB: P. Worrilow/A. Dent

OLB: S. Weatherspoon/O. Gaither

CB: D. Trufant/D. Franks

FS: Z. Motta/K. Ishmael

SS: W. Moore/ D. Franks

CB: R. Alford/R. McClain/C. Davis

RT: L. Holmes/ T. Jones

PK: C. Boswell

P: M. Bosher

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I'm sorry, but I find it beyond doubtful that Mack will ever hit free agency despite him being a constant in seemingly everyone's mocks. He's too good to let go, the Browns have too much cap space not to sign him, and with them aiming to bring in a rookie QB they need an experienced C to help ease the learning curve for him. Of the top centers the most likely one to hit the market is de la Puente since the Saints have far and away the worst cap situation of them, the Browns, and the Packers (Dietrich-Smith).

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Dawg I love your draft scenario's but there are just to many moving parts here in FA.

First off and I know it saves cap but Bryant goes no where.

Mack I love I'm like you people say RT & RG is an issue but refuse to admit C is more of an issue.No Huddle was non existant last year with Konz Hawley duo you let Ryan and a decent C run no huddle and that goes along way to protecting a perceived weakness.

Michael Johnson if your getting Clowney in the draft there is no need to spend at this position you've double dipped where you didn't need to.Also I personally think the staff like what they have in Massaquoi.I'd also keep Umenyiora for another year he still did enough for me this year to indicate he has gas left in the tank.

The draft as usual is on point.

The only guy I'd change out is a TE in 4th round and a inline blocking one at that I personally like the kid from Iowa he's big and physical and can catch passes I like him alot.

Edited by kiwifalcon
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This is my first posting on here and I wanted to post this on the main board, but I had a dream that the Falcons signed Michael Johnson from the Bengals. I don't know much about Michael Johnson, nor have I ever seen him play but my dreams are generally pretty accurate.

So how does that affect the overall NFL draft situation? I'm not sure. Does it mean we go OT in the first instead of pursuing a Clowney, Barr or Mack? I'll leave it to experts like g-Dawg.

I personally wouldn't mind seeing Greg Robinson in a Falcons uniform. I think he'd bring the physicality and nastiness to the line that we've been missing.

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I'm sorry, but I find it beyond doubtful that Mack will ever hit free agency despite him being a constant in seemingly everyone's mocks. He's too good to let go, the Browns have too much cap space not to sign him, and with them aiming to bring in a rookie QB they need an experienced C to help ease the learning curve for him. Of the top centers the most likely one to hit the market is de la Puente since the Saints have far and away the worst cap situation of them, the Browns, and the Packers (Dietrich-Smith).

costs $11mm to franchise Alex Mack - $5mm/yr over what the top centers get in free agency. Mack will want out - and unless Browns want to pay $5mm over market for one year - he will be available.

De La Puente is manning the center position between two all-pro caliber guards in Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs - what are the chances he would be as good between whoever are guards are? not dayum likely.

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costs $11mm to franchise Alex Mack - $5mm/yr over what the top centers get in free agency. Mack will want out - and unless Browns want to pay $5mm over market for one year - he will be available.

I remember people saying the same **** thing about Joe Thomas only to see their utter shock that they signed him long term. Do not make assumptions that a great player from a bad team is going to leave because, "he wants out," especially when that team has more than enough cap space to overpay to convince that player to stay.

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I remember people saying the same **** thing about Joe Thomas only to see their utter shock that they signed him long term. Do not make assumptions that a great player from a bad team is going to leave because, "he wants out," especially when that team has more than enough cap space to overpay to convince that player to stay.

apples and oranges - Joe Thomas is a left tackle and worth every penny over $10mm - because he is a left tackle!

Alex Mack is a center - its a quirk because NFL uses franchise tag for all O-Linemen the same. If Browns want to make some record-setting offer - say pay him 20% over market (like Panthers did for Charles Johnson) - then yeah, I agree he would most likely stay - but if offers are the same, I'm sure Alex Mack would love to get out of that h3ll hole.

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I am gonna agree with PG on the Mack comments. I don't think he will be available because it would be dumb for the Browns to let him go when they are going to have a young QB playing. However, I did read that he was a fan of the coach and did not want him gone so maybe he will be bitter and leave.

Other issue i have is getting Michael Johnson and Clowney. I think if Clowney falls to us then great. No need to grab Johnson. Not saying its overkill because you can never have too many, but i don't think we should spend the money on it. I'd rather use that money and get Arthur Jones to pair up with ya boy Linval Joseph in the middle or throw more money at Mack if he is available.

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Guest King Jigsaw

I would have liked this a lot better had you used your own rankings and not the rankings on these draft simulators which show a lot of obvious flaws. Gabe Jackson in the third is just not happening. Billy Turner in the 7th is also a joke. The problem with the one you used was that they place more weight on team needs than they do actual prospect rankings. I mentioned yesterday that I saw a CB go to the Rams at 2 overall.

Edit: Another thing I noticed was that you cut Matt Bryant saying that we draft a kicker and save $2M, but didn't draft a kicker. Does that mean we're getting a UDFA kicker? I wouldn't feel comfortable with that at all. Matt Bryant wins us a lot of games, he's worth the money.

Edited by King Jigsaw
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apples and oranges - Joe Thomas is a left tackle and worth every penny over $10mm - because he is a left tackle!

Alex Mack is a center - its a quirk because NFL uses franchise tag for all O-Linemen the same. If Browns want to make some record-setting offer - say pay him 20% over market (like Panthers did for Charles Johnson) - then yeah, I agree he would most likely stay - but if offers are the same, I'm sure Alex Mack would love to get out of that h3ll hole.

You are seriously minimizing the importance of a good C. They orchestrate the O-line pre-snap, which significantly eases the job of the QB if you have a good C, and the relationship between the QB and C cannot be underestimated. Likewise, having an experienced C goes very far in helping a young QB as they can do a lot of the work of reading the defense while the QB gets acclimated to doing that himself. If you were talking about LG, RG, or RT then sure you'd have a point, but C is right up there with LT in terms of importance. Just look at what happened to our O-line without an experienced C orchestrating the O-line, for example.

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I would have liked this a lot better had you used your own rankings and not the rankings on these draft simulators which show a lot of obvious flaws. Gabe Jackson in the third is just not happening. Billy Turner in the 7th is also a joke. The problem with the one you used was that they place more weight on team needs than they do actual prospect rankings. I mentioned yesterday that I saw a CB go to the Rams at 2 overall.

LOL he went by that simulator? why didnt he just trade down 15 times and take the entire 3rd round?

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draft doesnt seem very realistic to me. 99% chance clowney is gone. i dont see how hageman or jackson last til the 2nd or 3rd. hageman is projected to go in the teens and jackson is projected top 2nd.....

Hagerman is slated as a round 1-2 prospect and Gabe Jackson is like rated the #5 or 6 OG going so you never no they may well drop.

I think alot of this doubt comes from what alot on this board think and guys like Hageman & Jackson get talked about so much we automatically think they may go higher than they actually should.

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Hagerman is slated as a round 1-2 prospect and Gabe Jackson is like rated the #5 or 6 OG going so you never no they may well drop.

I think alot of this doubt comes from what alot on this board think and guys like Hageman & Jackson get talked about so much we automatically think they may go higher than they actually should.

yes, they 'might' drop, but clowney will not. all 3 combined makes it unrealistic.

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Guest King Jigsaw

You are seriously minimizing the importance of a good C. They orchestrate the O-line pre-snap, which significantly eases the job of the QB if you have a good C, and the relationship between the QB and C cannot be underestimated. Likewise, having an experienced C goes very far in helping a young QB as they can do a lot of the work of reading the defense while the QB gets acclimated to doing that himself. If you were talking about LG, RG, or RT then sure you'd have a point, but C is right up there with LT in terms of importance. Just look at what happened to our O-line without an experienced C orchestrating the O-line, for example.

Agreed. You'd think a Falcons fan would grasp this concept as well as anyone, with all that Todd McClure did for Matt Ryan early on.

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You are seriously minimizing the importance of a good C. They orchestrate the O-line pre-snap, which significantly eases the job of the QB if you have a good C, and the relationship between the QB and C cannot be underestimated. Likewise, having an experienced C goes very far in helping a young QB as they can do a lot of the work of reading the defense while the QB gets acclimated to doing that himself. If you were talking about LG, RG, or RT then sure you'd have a point, but C is right up there with LT in terms of importance. Just look at what happened to our O-line without an experienced C orchestrating the O-line, for example.

only you could interpret me wanting to spend $6mm+/yr on a center(Alex Mack) as - "me minimizing the importance of a center"....

PleaseMakeItStop-749714.jpg

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Guest King Jigsaw

only you could interpret me wanting to spend $6mm+/yr on a center as - "me minimizing the importance of a center"....

sheesh!

I don't think anyone questions the signing, man. I think a lot of us would be really happy with bringing in Mack. The big catch though is that as bad as you want him, Cleveland already has him and knows how important it is to keep him. For that reason, the signing becomes improbably because we don't think he'll ever hit the market for the Falcons to make an offer for him.

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LOL he went by that simulator? why didnt he just trade down 15 times and take the entire 3rd round?

different simulator - was more realtistic....not the one that will let you trade a million times until you own all the 2nd and 3rd round picks.

1st-(#06)DE-J. Clowney - I say about 1-in-3 shot he drops to #6. The simulator seems to be at 1-in-2. So I think its slightly skewed.

2nd-(#36)DT-R. Hageman - in simulator he is available about 2/3 of the time - in reality, I think its 50/50.

3rd-(#70)OG-G. Jackson - in simulator he is available 100% of time at top of 3rd round - I would say he could be there about 1/2 the time.

4th-(#99)DT-A. Johnson - in simulator he is available 100% of time - probably right.

5th-CB-C. Davis - in simulator, he is available most of time here - in reality, probably available 50% of the time.

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I don't think anyone questions the signing, man. I think a lot of us would be really happy with bringing in Mack. The big catch though is that as bad as you want him, Cleveland already has him and knows how important it is to keep him. For that reason, the signing becomes improbably because we don't think he'll ever hit the market for the Falcons to make an offer for him.

outside of Alex Mack just wanting to stay in Cleveland(who would WANT to stay in "the mistake by the lake") AND/OR Browns offering him 20% over market (deal averaging $8mm/yr), he will probably hit the market. I don't think Browns would franchise A. Mack at $11mm/yr knowing that Mack does not want to be there. If they franchised him the 2nd year, they have to pay him 120% of the prior year's franchise number which would be $13.2mm.

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Guest King Jigsaw

outside of Alex Mack just wanting to stay in Cleveland(who would WANT to stay in "the mistake by the lake") AND/OR Browns offering him 20% over market (deal averaging $8mm/yr), he will probably hit the market. I don't think Browns would franchise A. Mack at $11mm/yr knowing that Mack does not want to be there. If they franchised him the 2nd year, they have to pay him 120% of the prior year's franchise number which would be $13.2mm.

I agree that they will not franchise him, but I could see a deal being made for 5 or 6 years to get Manziel through his rookie deal and then them letting him go once his best years are behind him.

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1:3 that clowney lasts til 6? oh lord......not even close.

if not 1/3 to get to #6 overall, then at least 1/2 that he makes it to #4 overall - if he get to #4, we could move up for him and it would not take much to get there. Something this year and next and no future 1st rounder. Browns/Raiders would only be moving down 1-2 spots.

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