As we head into the fun part of the combine (the on field stuff) and the personnel men around the league meet the media, headlines start to appear surrounding free agency.
The Falcons are optimistic about their chances of resigning CB Brent Grimes and have made it a priority to resign the Falcons cornerback. While optimism seems to be the theme of these talks, Dimitroff has conceded that he could use the franchise tag if necessary to secure the star corner. I am delighted with how these talks are progressing. I’ve been saying all along Grimes needs to stay a Falcon and if a long term deal can’t be sorted out the franchise tag needs to be in play.
On the flip side talks between the team and DE John Abraham don’t seem to be going well. Abraham’s agent said that talks enter a “do or die” state over the weekend and there has been reports the Falcons aren’t willing to match his demands and are willing to let him test free agency. Shortly Abraham came out on twitter saying “whatever happens i still love the ATL”, which is top class from a top professional. He understands the business side of it and knowns the team has got to do what it’s go to do. My feeling on Abe is that he won’t be resigned initially, he is going to want to head out see what type of deal he can get and if nothing takes his fancy the Falcons can work something out with him after. If i had to say how confident i was he would ultimately remain a Falcons i would say 30% at this stage.
Curtis Lofton has also allegedly been deemed expendable by the team. The new defensive coaches only seem to regard him as a two down linebacker which dramatically affects his value. I’ve said before that $6 million a year is about as high as the Falcons will go to resign Lofton if that’s all they think he can bring to the team.
In terms of targeting external free agents, check out this video from NFL Network. In it Willie McGinest and Steve Wyche pinpoint Atlanta as a potential landing spot for all pro defensive end Mario Williams. While obviously i would want Mario on the team i’m sceptical about this happening. For a start, Mario is going to get seriously paid and probably become the highest paid defensive player in the league. I just don’t think the Falcons can compete under those conditions especially when cap free teams like Tampa Bay will be in the mix. Also after the not overly successful free agent signing last year with Ray Edwards that could throw some caution into the wind.
Keep it here, for all the latest developments over the free agency period.