The Falcons have a lot of tough decisions for them to make coming up in the next few months. While not being pressed hard against the cap, the Falcons don’t have that much to play with and some good players will have to let loose for fiscal reasons.
I aim to go through each Falcons player that is set to become a free agent, state a case for each player and then give a percentage of how likely i think it is that player will stay or go.
LB Curtis Lofton – Curtis Lofton has been the defensive captain of the team since entering the league in 2008 and has been just as important to the defense as Matt Ryan has been to the offense. This past year, he has developed an epic partnership with Sean Weatherpoon to form a tag team of linebackers. There is no way the Falcons will let him get to free agency, they both have a mutual respect for each other and i think a deal will get done, probably similar numbers wise to the contract Jacksonville gave Paul Pouzhlnzy last year.
Verdict – 98% chance he will stay.
CB Brent Grimes – Our best corner period! While there have been reports Grimes could be let go, i have to believe the Falcons will at least put up a bit of a fight. He will command top dollar and is he worth it in the eyes of Mike Nolan, who seems to favor taller corners. If he stays he will get in the region of $9 a year can the Falcons afford that?
Verdict – 50/50 on this could go either way.
DE John Abraham – Clearly the Falcons best pass rusher at the moment but what kind of money is he looking for. With DC Mike Nolan’s creativity on staff now, some pass rush can be conjured from elsewhere if needed. If Abe will take $5 million or less over a 1 or 2 year deal that is something worth doing, as his experience in bothe the 3-4 and 4-3 would invaluable.
Verdict – 60% chance he stays. It’s not clear cut at the moment, i think he will test the market and come back to the deal we offered him after looking around.
WR Harry Douglass – The Falcons #3 wideout could leave the Falcons this spring simply due to the amount of money already allocated to the Wide Receiver position. He could garner some interest on the open market and could well get more than the $3 million or so the Falcons will likely offer him.
Verdict – 65% chance he leaves.
DE Kroy Biermann – His outcome is tied in some respects to Abraham’s. If Abe leaves the Falcons will do whatever they can to retain Biermann. While he hasn’t totally proven himself on the field, he is worth a shot at a relatively low salary. He seems like a loyal player and could well take the money Atlanta throws his way.
Verdict- 75% chance he stays
The rest of the Falcons free agents will be analyzed in part 2 tomorrow.