With 26 days to go before the Atlanta Falcons kickoff the 2010 season, I wanted to take a look at which players might be there for the inevitable Super Bowl run.
In 17 days every NFL team must get their rosters down to 53 players. The Falcons currently have 79 so some quick math tell us that 26 players will see their dreams of playing for the Falcons temporarily (or permanently) ended. Sure, eight of them could latch on to the practice squad, but it’s the final 53 that matters.
So who’s in and who’s out? Your curiosity is killing you.
We’ll take this position by position. First up, the wide receivers.
In: Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran, Kerry Meier
Out: Eric Weems, Ryan Wolfe, Troy Bergeron, Andy Strickland, Brandyn Harvey, Tim Buckley
Decisions: Weems is the wild card. If he wins return duties, they’ll have to keep six receivers.
In: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson
Decisions: The Falcons only have three quarterbacks on the roster so this is an easy one.
In: Tony Gonzalez, Justin Peelle, Keith Zinger
Out: Michael Palmer, Robbie Agnone
Decisions: Gonzalez and Peelle are set. The only possible battle is if Palmer can supplant Zinger.
In: Todd McClure, Justin Blalock, Harvey Dahl, Sam Baker, Tyson Clabo, Brett Romberg, Quinn Ojinnaka, Mike Johnson, Will Svitek
Out: Garrett Reynolds, Joe Hawley, Blake Schlueter, Jose Valdez, Rob Bruggeman
Decisions: Reynolds may find a spot but there’s not room for anyone else.
In: Michael Turner, Jerious Norwood, Jason Snelling
Out: Antone Smith, Dimitri Nance
Decisions: There’s a lot of love for Nance right now, but this was never a competition. The big three will remain.
In: Ovie Mughelli, Dan Klecko
Decisions: Another no-brainer.
That’s the offense. 15 players will have to turn in their playbook. Now let’s move on to the defense.
In: Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry, Corey Peters, Thomas Johnson
Out: Trey Lewis, Vance Walker
Decisions: Only the first three spots are locks. Johnson, Lewis or Walker could take the final spot.
In: John Abraham, Jamaal Anderson, Lawrence Sidbury, Chauncey Davis, Kroy Biermann
Out: Emmanuel Stephens, Rajon Henley
Decisions: The only competition is where they fit on the depth chart.
In: Stephen Nicholas, Mike Peterson, Coy Wire, Sean Weatherspoon
Out: Weston Johnson, Robert James
Decisions: Another lock. Johnson and James are out.
In: Curtis Lofton, Spencer Adkins
Out: Bear Woods
Decisions: I know it pains the Falcons community but I think the Bear is practice squad material.
In: Dunta Robinson, Brent Grimes, Christopher Owens, Brian Williams, Dominique Franks
Out: Chevis Jackson, Gabe Derricks
Decisions: This is a tough one. It will come down to Franks and Jackson. The Falcons may end up keeping six CBs but I’m not sure where they gain that extra spot.
In: Erik Coleman, Thomas DeCoud, William Moore, Matt Giordano, Shann Schillinger
Out: Rafael Bush, Eric Brock
Decisions: Schillinger was on the bubble but another solid performance like last Friday and he’ll be the last safety.
And there’s the defense. 11 players will be released leaving 25 on the active roster. The specialists are all decided but we’ll take a peek at them anyway.
Kicker – Matt Bryant
Punter - Michael Koenen
Long Snapper – Joe Zelenka
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Fire away in the comments or find me on Twitter.