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Atlanta Falcons focused on acclimating, assessing newcomers for another Super Bowl run

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By The Sports Xchange   |   June 16, 2017 at 1:10 AM
 
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Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman runs into heavy traffic as he tries to gain yardage against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter of their NFC playoff game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on January 14, 2017. File photo by Phil Skinner/UPI
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn focused on developing the youth on the roster and handed most of the offseason reps to younger players and new veterans to the team.

"Not just the rookies, but guys who maybe don't have a lot of experience going into year two or three," Quinn said. "We wanted to get to know them more. We wanted to get to know some of the free agents we added in the offseason more. That's the Jack Crawfords and Dontari (Poes). We were trying to check those boxes."

At the conclusion of minicamp, Quinn addressed the team and then had a longer session with the rookies before releasing them.

"We reminded our guys that rule number one for us is protecting the team and having a conscience for that all the way," Quinn said. "We have a good break here and I want everybody lined up, ready to go and recharged in (little over) a month's time. We have a **** of a division that we are going to go fight for."

The team is slated to reconvene in late July.

Running back Devonta Freeman is looking forward to signing a contract extension, preferable before training camp.

"It's that feeling when you know something special is coming and you're about to be blessed," Freeman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after minicamp concluded on Thursday. "It's just an exciting moment in time for me right now."

Freeman is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract and make $1.8 million in 2017. His camp wants him to be paid like an "elite" running back. His representatives made it known during the Super Bowl week and again during free agency.

The Falcons have made it a point, during general manager Thomas Dimitroff's regime, to extend players in the final year of their contracts in October or November , which is what cornerback Robert Alford and right tackle Ryan Schraeder did last season. So, Freeman would normally be up this October or November.

Freeman and Dimitroff don't see any murky contract negotiation clouds coming.

"I'm not rushing it and I'm not impatient," Freeman said. "I'm just trying to make sure that my business is right as far as being in the best shape of my life. Being healthy, stronger, faster and being better at the same time."

Freeman, who was a fourth-round pick in 2014 out of Florida State, has put together back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons. He had 227 carries for 1,079 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He also caught 54 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns.

In his breakout 2015 season, Freeman rushed 265 times for 1,056 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 73 passes for 568 yards and three touchdowns.

"I'm just a firm believer that everything is going to get handled at the right time," Freeman said. "Right now, it's not like I'm in a bad situation. I'm not hurting for money. This is the most I've had in my life.

"I have a great management team to help me manage my money. Help me save and do the right things and stuff. We're good."

The Falcons are $6,009,096 million under the salary cap, according the NFLPA public salary cap documents.

 

 

http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/NFL/2017/06/16/Atlanta-Falcons-focused-on-acclimating-assessing-newcomers-for-another-Super-Bowl-run/6111497589656/

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"I'm just a firm believer that everything is going to get handled at the right time," Freeman said. "Right now, it's not like I'm in a bad situation. I'm not hurting for money. This is the most I've had in my life." 

This is what I love about this guy....his humility.  I remember his rookie season and being on Hardknocks with his first condo.  He was sooo happy and amazed. 

 

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Teams succeed when they find a stud in the later rounds because the money they save during their rookie contracts can be used to shore up depth. That's why I always like it when those guys get their payday; they are responsible for making the team better through their performance and by playing for less than they deserve. I hope Free's agents don't get stupid with their demands, but I hope he gets a contract that he's truly happy with.

nomak, PokerSteve, Kung-Pow and 1 other like this

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1 hour ago, BIRDLAND 2.0 said:

Not run, WIN! 

Gotta get there first. 

The Cards last year thought they were owed a trip to the SB after the 15 season. In the South, we can afford to over look anyone. 

Falcan Moore and BIRDLAND 2.0 like this

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Just now, ICD said:

Gotta get there first. 

The Cards last year thought they were owed a trip to the SB after the 15 season. In the South, we can afford to over look anyone. 

Agree! Can't overlook anyone regardless of point spread. 

ICD likes this

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2 hours ago, ICD said:

Gotta get there first. 

The Cards last year thought they were owed a trip to the SB after the 15 season. In the South, we can afford to over look anyone. 

Cards roster was/is nowhere near ours.

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1 hour ago, Yo_Lover said:

Cards roster was/is nowhere near ours.

True, but we still can't count our chickens before they hatch...we have to play up to our talent level, and not expect any gimmes.

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1 hour ago, Yo_Lover said:

Cards roster was/is nowhere near ours.

Not jinxing anything but Sh1t happens and seasons can completely change. I feel like Quinn had these guys working on a lot of things involving balance and agility during the offseason. These are the type of exercises that PREVENT injury, so hopefully our guys will have another fortunate year.  

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4 hours ago, JayOzOne said:

Teams succeed when they find a stud in the later rounds because the money they save during their rookie contracts can be used to shore up depth. That's why I always like it when those guys get their payday; they are responsible for making the team better through their performance and by playing for less than they deserve. I hope Free's agents don't get stupid with their demands, but I hope he gets a contract that he's truly happy with.

Me too, but judging from some of their statements and the timing of said statements, I wouldn't be surprised if that turns out to be the case.

But from the other side of the negotiating table, it's hard to see the Falcons offering anything other than what Free's stats say he's worth in today's market.

Whatever the final dollar figure is, I know Free will be happy with it because, once again, it will be more money than he's ever had in his life.

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Hate the Super Bowl run talk.  One game at a time.  

3 hours ago, droopy1592 said:

Not jinxing anything but Sh1t happens and seasons can completely change. I feel like Quinn had these guys working on a lot of things involving balance and agility during the offseason. These are the type of exercises that PREVENT injury, so hopefully our guys will have another fortunate year.  

This will be the biggest thing, avoiding injuries.  Lots of luck involved.  Part of our success last year was having the only O-line in football that played every game together.

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16 hours ago, Yo_Lover said:

Cards roster was/is nowhere near ours.

Cards were top 3 in D and O 2015. 

2016 brought back all O players back and lost a couple people on D but still in the top 10 of D in 2016. 

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21 hours ago, ICD said:

Cards were top 3 in D and O 2015. 

2016 brought back all O players back and lost a couple people on D but still in the top 10 of D in 2016. 

Don't try to explain reality to that mofo. He's clueless. 

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:49 AM, ICD said:

Cards were top 3 in D and O 2015. 

2016 brought back all O players back and lost a couple people on D but still in the top 10 of D in 2016. 

Our QB, RB, WR, O-Line, LB, are all easily better. CB and SS I think is better. The only thing they have over us is FS and MAYBE pass rush. I don't give a **** about stats. Pats had the #1 defense due to a weak schedule. Mean nothing.

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4 hours ago, FalconFanSince1970 said:

Don't try to explain reality to that mofo. He's clueless. 

Didn't you want Gurley and Gregory? Talk about clueless.

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On 6/16/2017 at 1:17 PM, Theyhateme : ) said:

 I remember his rookie season and being on Hardknocks with his first condo.  He was sooo happy and amazed. 

And this is why he is now and will be known forever with me as... "bathtub"!! He was so excited that he had a full sized garden tub it was so refreshing!

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:49 AM, ICD said:

Cards were top 3 in D and O 2015. 

2016 brought back all O players back and lost a couple people on D but still in the top 10 of D in 2016. 

Honestly, Carson Palmer is playing on borrowed time. He's been average at best outside of 2015. They just weren't able to capitalize on his insane 2015.

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 6:45 PM, Alomar said:

True, but we still can't count our chickens before they hatch...we have to play up to our talent level, and not expect any gimmes.

No one in that locker room or organization is counting chickens or expecting anything to be handed to them.  We as fans are just that...fans talking.  I'll let the team and it coaches worry about other matters. 

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On 6/18/2017 at 0:16 PM, Ezekiel 25:17 said:

And this is why he is now and will be known forever with me as... "bathtub"!! He was so excited that he had a full sized garden tub it was so refreshing!

I still call him "CapriSun"...LOL

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 I remember reading about Free after he was drafted.  I thought there was a good chance that we had someone special as I read about his tough life and how he puts his all into what he does!  

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