Goober Pyle

Potential additions to keep an eye on as Falcons approach free agency

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https://theathletic.com/814092/2019/02/12/potential-additions-to-keep-an-eye-on-as-falcons-approach-free-agency/

It doesn’t appear the Falcons will be too active in free agency.

At least that was the vibe general manager Thomas Dimitroff gave off a couple of weeks ago during a meeting with local reporters. Dimitroff said the team won’t go out of its way to sign numerous players once free agency begins. He also noted that the fixes next year’s team needs don’t necessarily require a complete overhaul.

Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Falcons go after only a couple of free agents in March.

“I think there’s a draft out there that can be really beneficial to us, potentially on both sides of the ball,” Dimitroff said. “Front-wise, you can acquire in the draft, as well. We will be very manageable and mindful about how we will be approaching free agency. We will not be throwing out money for the sake of it.”

While acquiring quality players through the draft is a favorable scenario for just about every team, that won’t address the short-term fixes Atlanta needs to make. The Falcons probably will need to at least splurge on one player to address the issues on the offensive or defensive lines.

With a month to go before free agency begins, here are five high-priced and five budget upcoming free agents the Falcons should potentially look closer at.

High-priced free agents

OL Ju’Wuan James (Miami): James will be one of the top offensive linemen teams look at once free agency begins. James, who played under his fifth-year option with the Dolphins this past season, had one of the best years of his career. A solid force at right tackle, and at 6-foot-6 and 317 pounds, James is the prototype for what the Falcons are looking for at the position. The Falcons are expected to have a competition brewing at right tackle, considering Ryan Schraeder was benched during the latter portion of the 2018 season. James would cost a decent amount of money, considering he ranks among the top linemen in this year’s free-agent class.

DE Dante Fowler, Jr. (Los Angeles Rams): Fowler is only 24 years old and would be a great get for just about any team once free agency begins. Looking toward the future, the Falcons certainly could use a pass-rushing defensive end. Assuming that Vic Beasley is brought back on a new deal, he will be in a make-or-break situation. Bruce Irvin, if he is re-signed, is 31 years old. Atlanta could use another young defensive end with experience on its roster.

DE Frank Clark (Seattle): Clark is coming off of a 2018 season that saw him post 13 sacks. Those are the type of numbers that should get head coach Dan Quinn quite excited. The Seahawks drafted Clark in the second round of the 2015 draft, which is the year Quinn left Seattle for Atlanta. Clark should have familiarity with Atlanta’s defense, considering his coordinators in Seattle — Kris Richard and Ken Norton Jr. — previously coached under Quinn.

DE Brandon Graham (Philadelphia): Even at age 30, Graham has plenty left to give on the field. While he only had four sacks in 2018, Graham is the poster-child of a pro football player giving everything he has on each play. His career highlight was the strip-sack he had against Tom Brady to help seal Super Bowl LII. Considering his past accomplishments, Graham wouldn’t come cheap in free agency. He also has roots in Philadelphia, seeing that he has been with the franchise the past nine years. But if the Eagles decide to move on, perhaps the Falcons at least take a look.

OL Rodger Saffold (Rams): As noted, the Falcons need help along the offensive line at right tackle and at both guard spots. Safford actually would fit the bill for both. A versatile lineman who can play tackle and guard, Saffold has been a consistent presence for a Rams offensive line that has produced big games for Todd Gurley the past two years. Safford, however, publicly said he would be open to a hometown discount if the price is still right. Therefore, a team like Atlanta probably would have to pony up more than maybe the market would dictate, just for the hope of potentially landing him.

Budget free agents

LB Thomas Davis (Carolina): Davis likely would come at the veteran minimum and on a one- or two-year deal. While Davis has been able to defy physics by lasting this long as he has in the NFL, he is 35 years old and is coming off a season that saw him fail to record a sack for the first time in six years. Still, Davis would be a valuable locker room presence as someone who has seen the highs and lows the league can bring. That was something the Atlanta defense missed a year ago.

OL Billy Turner (Denver): The Broncos had a positive season on the offensive line, which was overshadowed by poor quarterback play and numerous coaching blunders. Part of the line’s success can be attributed to Turner, who was asked to play both right tackle and left guard in 2018. While Turner, 27, hasn’t been a dominant offensive lineman as a pro, he has steadily improved as time has gone on. Given up on by Miami after two-plus years, Denver coached up his technique to make him a steady presence up front.

QB Ryan Griffin (Tampa Bay): Matt Schaub’s contract is expiring, with the longtime veteran holding a cap hit of $4.5 million in 2018. Needing space, the Falcons are unlikely to bring Schaub back on a similar deal. With Dirk Koetter returning to be Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the team to take a look at Griffin, the Buccaneers’ third-string quarterback this past season. Griffin made just less than $1.4 million in 2018 and probably would not hold more than a $2 million cap hit.

DT Malcom Brown (New England): Patrick Chung declared Brown the team’s most underrated player near the end of the season. Even so, Brown, a former first-round pick, is set to hit free agency since the Patriots declined to pick up his fifth-year option. Brown’s stats aren’t much as he has only 8.5 career sacks and 14 tackles for loss in four years. In college, however, he played anything from zero- to five-technique, which shows he offers versatility up front. Plus, at 320 pounds, Browns could serve as a space-eater in Atlanta’s 4-3 defense. As a potential role player, Brown could be a bargain in free agency.

DE Margus Hunt (Indianapolis): Hunt is coming off the two best years of his career with the Colts, especially as a run defender. In addition, he also posted five sacks this past season. The 6-8 and 298-pound defensive lineman was a steady presence for a much-improved Colts defense in 2018. Hunt, 31, is probably looking at a two-year deal averaging $3-to-4 million each season. At the right price, Hunt potentially could be a solid role-playing addition to the Falcons’ defense.

 

 

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Give me Fowler, Suh, and Trent Brown from NE In Free Agency.

 

 Resign Irvin and Vic if he agrees to a team friendly deal, if not let him walk.

draft Day one starting guard at 14 and then bpa or trade back for more pics the rest of the way.

 

base defense

 

McKinley, Grady, Suh, Fowler

Jones, Campbell,

Trufant, Oliver, Kazee

Neal, Rico

 

With Quinn calling plays, I dig it

Edited by Bridgeburner
quickzero and GeorgiaBoyz like this

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7 minutes ago, Bridgeburner said:

Give me Fowler, Suh, and Trent Brown from NE In Free Agency.

 

 Resign Irvin and Vic if he agrees to a team friendly deal, if not let him walk.

draft Day one starting guard at 14 and then bpa or trade back for more pics the rest of the way.

 

base defense

 

McKinley, Grady, Suh, Fowler

Jones, Campbell,

Trufant, Oliver, Kazee

Neal, Rico

 

With Quinn calling plays, I dig it

You're not asking for much are you?

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I wouldn’t have anything against bring Suh in, as I’ve seen on many wishlist here. I just don’t believe that anybody is going to be able to pry him away from the west coast. The only realistic places that I see he could possibly move would be San Fran or Seattle. Seattle is probably his dream scenario since he is from there. 

Stryka and ya_boi_j like this

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James was my option B for a FA OT behind Trent...but I was thinking around 8 million/per.  Doesn’t look like that’s happening.  Time to light the fire on Risner if we can get him Round 2.  Sign Spain in FA and the rest of the offseason goes to defense

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2 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

LB Thomas Davis

you know we are picking at least one from the bargain bin.  cant believe dante fowler was on a one year deal with the rams. this board wanted brandon graham badly in the draft

Stryka, Vandy and Tim Mazetti like this

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Frank Clark fell in the draft due to domestic violence so we definitely won't be picking him up. Seahawks will probably tag him anyway. He would have been my #1 target tho.

Stryka likes this

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Let’s just spend the money to get 1 signature FA like we did with Mack.

My vote is for a G or RT or DT

Then draft lines rounds 1-6 and just play whoever sticks 

Edited by NeonDeion
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8 hours ago, VTCrunkler said:

you know we are picking at least one from the bargain bin.  cant believe dante fowler was on a one year deal with the rams. this board wanted brandon graham badly in the draft

Wasn’t Fowler traded there mid season?

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How in the heck is Fowler considered a 'High Priced FA'? Author of article must not be too familiar with his impact on the field so far in his career. Fowler will probably be seeking more along the lines of a 'prove it deal'. If he is seeking multiple years, he will not get too much annually. Definitely not consider a 'High Priced FA'. I'll bet anything on it. He won't come even close to sniffing 8-10 mil annually. 

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10 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

Wanted Margus Hunt when he came out. Dude is a freakin giant. I’ll take him, Fowler, Graham, Davis and/or saffold

Hunt came on slow for IND, the board would have wanted him cut years ago.

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6 minutes ago, 1989Fan said:

Hunt came on slow for IND, the board would have wanted him cut years ago.

He battled with injuries early on in Cincy. Still wanted him back then based on size alone. He would be a good piece in the rotation.

Side note, screw what the board wants. We've been proven wrong time and time again lol

Flying Falcon likes this

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Just now, ya_boi_j said:

He battled with injuries early on in Cincy. Still wanted him back then based on size alone. He would be a good piece in the rotation.

Side note, screw what the board wants. We've been proven wrong time and time again lol

I agree, just pointing out how F’ed up this place can be lol.

ya_boi_j likes this

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Warming up to James for OT. 

Saffold seems like a long shot as he wants to stay in LAR.

Another player I would really like is Kwon alexander. He, Jones and Campbell would be a really athletic and agressive trio!

get me a real good player on each of the lines, sure up the LB spot and head to the draft. (Of course re-sign Grady first)

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2 minutes ago, 1989Fan said:

Warming up to James for OT. 

Saffold seems like a long shot as he wants to stay in LAR.

Another player I would really like is Kwon alexander. He, Jones and Campbell would be a really athletic and agressive trio!

get me a real good player on each of the lines, sure up the LB spot and head to the draft. (Of course re-sign Grady first)

Alexander is gonna get PAID. He would solidify the LB group though.

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20 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

Alexander is gonna get PAID. He would solidify the LB group though.

I am curious to what his market looks like. Not hearing much hype around him (though the media doesn’t necessarily dictate what teams will do/pay) and it sounds like he came off a down year.

his athleticism would be a great fit w Q calling the shots though.

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3 minutes ago, 1989Fan said:

I am curious to what his market looks like. Not hearing much hype around him (though the media doesn’t necessarily dictate what teams will do/pay) and it sounds like he came off a down year.

his athleticism would be a great fit w Q calling the shots though.

yeah I'd take him in a heartbeat but then you will lose either Campbell or Jones when their time comes. Man I hate contracts these days. It's so hard to keep teams together with QB's and WR's getting paid the money they make

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My wish list:

1. Margus Hunt: freak of nature with unheard of strength. Would be a bargain bin find, but would be a nice rotational run dt. 

2. Brandon Graham: need that experienced vet to teach our younguns the ropes.

3. Daryl Williams: I don't like Juwan James. I think Daryl Williams is a lot better and it would hurt the panthers. 

ATLSlobberKnockers likes this

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