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Dimitroff navigated Falcons through ‘free-for-all’ free agency

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FALCONS 

1 hour ago
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Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff generally was pleased with how free agency went for the team this offseason.

But one matter during the “free-for-all” seem to befuddle him.

The Falcons were in the hunt for veteran defensive end Robert Quinn, but lost to the Bears on a coin flip.

“When the new league year opens and free agency is rolling, obviously then it’s a little bit of a free-for-all,” Dimitroff said Tuesday during a video chat with the local media. “To see that all worked out with the coin flip was interesting to hear. I didn't know if that was a little bit exaggerated, but evidently it wasn’t after we had seen the quotes.”

Quinn, 29, signed a five-year deal that is worth up to $70 million deal with the Bears on March 17. After the failed pursuit of Quinn, the Falcons signed Dante Fowler to a three-year, $48 million deal March 24. 

 

“Our own internal expectations were that we were going to potentially grab two to three people that were going to help us, and they were going to be projected as potential starters for us,” Dimitroff said. “We were very diligent in all of our work leading into free agency.”

In addition to landing Fowler, the Falcons signed running back Todd Gurley and traded for tight end Hayden Hurst. They were unable to fill holes at linebacker and cornerback after De’Vondre Campbell left to sign with Arizona, and Desmond Trufant was released with a post-June 1 designation. 

Trufant ended up signing with the Detroit Lions.

 

“We had to be creative with it financially,” Dimitroff said. “The first move that we made, of course, via trade with Baltimore, was a big move for us. We knew that it was going to be complicated down the stretch with where we were with (Austin Hooper).”

The Falcons gave up second-round and fifth-round picks and received Hurst and a fourth-round pick from the Ravens. 

“He adds some really good speed and athleticism to our team that will be really beneficial for us,” Dimitroff said. “He’s a hard-charging guy both in blocking and in pass receiving.”

After the Falcons announced they were not going to re-sign Vic Beasley, they tried to replace him in free agency. Fowler, who was selected five picks before Beasley in the 2015 draft by Jacksonville, signed. 

 

He was recruited to Florida and played a season with Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who was the Gators defensive coordinator. 

Fowler had a bumpy start to his career with Jacksonville and was traded after two seasons to the Rams. Last season was his first double-digit sack campaign.

“He continues to evolve as a player,” Dimitroff said. “We think we can continue to get a lot out of where he is.”

Gurley, a former standout at Georgia, was NFL offensive player of the year in 2017. He helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl after the 2018 season.

 

Behind a revamped offensive line, he rushed for a career-low 857 yards last season. 

“We weren’t sure how all of that was going to shake out as far as opportunities with him,” Dimitroff said. “But in the end, it was an opportunity to bring in a very good football player and one that we think can help our offense continue to take it to another level.” 

The hold-up with announcing the Gurley signing revolved around language in the contract. Gurley, who has a left knee injury history, still must pass a team physical. 

“I feel good about that,” Dimitroff said. “If and when, I’m going to say ‘when’ he passes our physical, I think he’s going to do a very good job contributing to this offense.”

 

Gurley rushed for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017 and 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2018. Despite the sub-1,000 yard rushing season, the Falcons believe Gurley still has plenty of gas left in his tank.  

“Todd can still tote the rock very, very well,” Dimitroff said. “He’s going to be a big-time playmaker I believe. He has the ability to do that.”

With Trufant gone, Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield are the top cornerbacks. Veteran Blidi Wreh-Wilson was re-signed in free agency. 

You really can never have enough corners,” Dimitroff said. “I think it’s really important for us to continue to hone in on that, whether it's the back end of free agency here or whether it’s in the draft. We’ll continue to look in that area.”

 

Campbell led the Falcons in tackles the past two seasons. He signed with Arizona.  

“We have Foye (Oluokun) there, of course, and (Deion Jones), slotted up there looking good in our minds,” Dimitroff said. “We’ll continue to build around the linebacker group.”

The Falcons signed linebackers LaRoy Reynolds and Edmond Robinson in free agency. 

“We feel like through some of our acquisitions in free agency and potentially continuing to look in the draft that we’re going to be in a good spot,” Dimitroff said. “In our minds, we have one of the best linebacker coaches in the league in Jeff Ulbrich.”

 

 

 

 

https://www.ajc.com/sports/football/dimitroff-navigated-falcons-through-free-for-all-free-agency/ZrwvgFdtPPQzIHtVhSM1UJ/

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The way he used the coi n flip was stupid. Your supposed to flip it and use how it makes you feel. Disappointed in the result? Now you have the answer. H e said he had to honor the outcome. The coin is a tool, its not meant to dictate your dilemna. 

but whatever i guess

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15 minutes ago, 5stripes said:

He got rid of Sanu Trufant Freeman Campbell Hooper Stocker Beasley to sign only 3 players and y’all wonder why the team is full of holes?

The CAP exists. For what money we had, I'll take a few playmakers over a handful of JAGs. 

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16 minutes ago, 5stripes said:

He got rid of Sanu Trufant Freeman Campbell Hooper Stocker Beasley to sign only 3 players and y’all wonder why the team is full of holes?

Patience is a virtue. There will be more free agent casualties 

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Just now, Mister pudding said:

Handful of JAGS? Is Mike Smith back on the coaching team? 

Who all would you have signed while spending the same we are spending on Fowler, Gurley, and Hurst? 

Yes, we could have gotten even more McCray and Reynolds type signings if we hadn't targeted the playmakers we did, but personally I prefer us bringing in a couple of guys who can make a real difference. 

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2 minutes ago, Artys Arryn said:

Who all would you have signed while spending the same we are spending on Fowler, Gurley, and Hurst? 

Yes, we could have gotten even more McCray and Reynolds type signings if we hadn't targeted the playmakers we did, but personally I prefer us bringing in a couple of guys who can make a real difference. 

It was a play on words... JAGS. Jacksonville Jags, Mike Smith? Get it? I agree with your concept regarding our signings. I think we not only got the right guys, but the positions we needed most

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Just now, Mister pudding said:

It was a play on words... JAGS. Jacksonville Jags, Mike Smith? Get it? I agree with your concept regarding our signings. I think we not only got the right guys, but the positions we needed most

Lol ah, I gotcha man. Went right over my head. I agree with Fowler and Hurst. Those were critical holes. Gurley on the other hand was just too good of a deal to pass up, imo. RB is a little easier to fill in the draft compared to say, CB, but Gurley is such a good risk vs reward situation.

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17 minutes ago, Artys Arryn said:

The CAP exists. For what money we had, I'll take a few playmakers over a handful of JAGs. 

Let me know in what world Hooper and Sanu are not playmakers and Hurst is

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2 minutes ago, Artys Arryn said:

Lol ah, I gotcha man. Went right over my head. I agree with Fowler and Hurst. Those were critical holes. Gurley on the other hand was just too good of a deal to pass up, imo. RB is a little easier to fill in the draft compared to say, CB, but Gurley is such a good risk vs reward situation.

1 year/5 million. Ticket sales alone make that signing worth it. Now he has to play like his next contract depends on it, because it does

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I'm not talking about Sanu and Hooper. We didn't have the money to pay our guys. That's my point. The CAP exists. We took that money and signed playmakers at a value. Fowler made about market, but Hurst and Gurley are extremely affordable. We made good moves considering the situation.

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Just now, Mister pudding said:

1 year/5 million. Ticket sales alone make that signing worth it. Now he has to play like his next contract depends on it, because it does

Exactly. It's a win-win for both sides. He balls out, we get a year of elite production and he gets another big deal elsewhere. He underperforms, we aren't on the hook and we didn't lose much on the gamble.

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1 minute ago, Artys Arryn said:

Exactly. It's a win-win for both sides. He balls out, we get a year of elite production and he gets another big deal elsewhere. He underperforms, we aren't on the hook and we didn't lose much on the gamble.

Cortisone that knee up enough this year and add a year of experience on our offensive line and this could be a really fun year to watch 

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22 minutes ago, 5stripes said:

Let me know in what world Hooper and Sanu are not playmakers and Hurst is

Not even trying to be funny. Go watch film. The ravens literally forced HURST to run like 2 maybe 3 routes. Let's see what he does with Matt Ryan at QB with Ridley and julio outside. My guess is he does very well. 

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10 minutes ago, HaRdH3ad said:

Not even trying to be funny. Go watch film. The ravens literally forced HURST to run like 2 maybe 3 routes. Let's see what he does with Matt Ryan at QB with Ridley and julio outside. My guess is he does very well. 

Does very well = Hooper level?

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Just now, 5stripes said:

Does very well = Hooper level?

What is Hooper's level? 

We gotta ask ourselves what made Hoop so good? The answer, in my opinion, is being flanked by really good WR talent on both sides and having a really good QB that he developed chemistry with. Those same elements still exist for the former portion of that and he'll have all the opportunity in the world to build chemistry with Matt.

As far as athletic ability, Hurst is at or higher than Hooper in most levels. I think he'll be an outstanding fit for us. Anything Hoop could do, I see Hurst being able to replicate.

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1 minute ago, MD-FalconFan13 said:

What is Hooper's level? 

We gotta ask ourselves what made Hoop so good? The answer, in my opinion, is being flanked by really good WR talent on both sides and having a really good QB that he developed chemistry with. Those same elements still exist for the former portion of that and he'll have all the opportunity in the world to build chemistry with Matt.

As far as athletic ability, Hurst is at or higher than Hooper in most levels. I think he'll be an outstanding fit for us. Anything Hoop could do, I see Hurst being able to replicate.

All I see is a hurst having all this athletic ability and he wasn’t even the best TE on his team and was outplayed by a 3rd round pick. I thought Beasley had athletic ability, high motor, and a first round pick. Guess what? Didn’t produce consistently. 
 

We got rid of a known producer for someone we hope will replicate his production. A given > hoping to replicate

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10 minutes ago, 5stripes said:

Does very well = Hooper level?

Hooper level for rookie contract money.

I personally don’t think he needs to get to that level just needs to be a credible run blocker and have the ability to stretch and open up the seam.

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4 minutes ago, 5stripes said:

All I see is a hurst having all this athletic ability and he wasn’t even the best TE on his team and was outplayed by a 3rd round pick. I thought Beasley had athletic ability, high motor, and a first round pick. Guess what? Didn’t produce consistently. 
 

We got rid of a known producer for someone we hope will replicate his production. A given > hoping to replicate

Yep and add one of the better pass rushers in FA.

Hard decision that one you think.

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25 minutes ago, HaRdH3ad said:

Not even trying to be funny. Go watch film. The ravens literally forced HURST to run like 2 maybe 3 routes. Let's see what he does with Matt Ryan at QB with Ridley and julio outside. My guess is he does very well. 

Lol just like Hooper did ate off of Julio especially and Ridley drawing coverage.

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6 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

Yep and add one of the better pass rushers in FA.

Hard decision that one you think.

Yep and create a hole at CB and depending on a rookie or raw player to fill it 

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4 minutes ago, 5stripes said:

Yep and create a hole at CB and depending on a rookie or raw player to fill it 

Hard decisions you get that bit.

Its ok to leave a perceived hole if your confident in what you have behind it.

When are you going to get this it’s not about the new talent you add it’s more of guys 2,3 and 4 years into there development cycle stepping up and taking there opportunities.

I think that’s how you have to look at it.Sheffield and Oliver specifically have the opportunity to make those CB spots there own.Thats a good thing I would have thought.

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