Falcon free-agency has been lack-luster for lack of a better line. Falcons fans were expecting a “big splash” in the free agency pool, but instead have “penciled” their way into the water. Mario Williams!!!….bills. Cortland Finnegan!!!…..rams. Carl Nicks!!!…..bucs. The Falcons have spent the off-season thus far re-signing the same players we lost with in the first round of the play-offs, while also watching probably the best young linebacker available slip right out from under their feet. Not only that, but it is looking more and more like linebacker Curtis Lofton is going to end up either a Saint or a Buc! If you were to tell me this three weeks ago, I would say that things couldn’t possibly get worse!!!
However, after looking at Pro Football Talk’s “The Free Agent Hot 100″ (44 of which are still available), it seems to me there are still some solid free agents that the Falcons could pick up that would significantly help the squad. Here are a few that I had in mind:
Kamerion Wimbley (OLB): The Raiders parted ways with the outside line-backing beast Friday afternoon. The former Florida State University standout is still very much in his prime (28 yrs. old) and would all but solidify the outsides. No matter what defense we are playing, with “Spoon” and Wimbley attacking off the edges, it is enough to make opposing QBs shiver. This would take a bit of the pressure off of the apparent Tatupu/Dent combination at middle linebacker, and would give Dent more ability to “learn on the job”.
Lardarious Webb (CB): Just after the Ravens lost in the play-offs to the Patriots, I tweeted that the Falcons should try very hard to capture Webb in the free-agent market. He is a restricted free agent (the highest one at that) and has been tendered by the Ravens, but there is still an outside chance that the Falcons could make a push for him. We need to improve in our passing defense, and signing Webb would be a gigantic step in the right direction to do that.
Marcus McNeill (OT): We at Blogging Dirty have mentioned a few times that McNeill would be a great sign for the Falcons. It is no secret that the offensive line must get better, and what better way to do it than to sign a 6’7″, 336 lbs monster. When he was released by the Chargers early last week, the Falcons eyes lit up. He claims he is 100% healthy after his neck injury that held him out of 7 games last season. He will be in Atlanta meeting with the Falcons organization later this week after he visits the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions.
London Fletcher (LB): Who doesn’t like a crafty veteran. I mentioned that the Falcons should sign him as a bridge linebacker to give Akeem Dent another year or two to blossom (but instead the Falcons signed Lofa Tatupu). I like Tatupu, 4 years ago. He didn’t play at all last year, so you have to understand why I’m a bit skeptical. The front office must have seen something to give him a two year deal, but when it comes down to it, I would prefer the leagues leading tackler from the previous year over a guy who didn’t play at all. Yeah, he is old, but he may have a bit of Favre in him, because he is still performing at a high level.
Dallas Clark (TE): We are seeing teams go more and more with the double tight end sets. Look at the Patriots…this formation took them all the way to the Super Bowl. Why not field a line-up that involves two Hall-of-Fame tight ends working the inside with two explosive wide receivers on the outsides? Plus it would give Matt Ryan yet another security blanket to work with. The better the targets for Matt Ryan, the more successful the Falcons will be.
CURTIS LOFTON (LB): 5th leading tackler in the NFL. Leader of the defense for the past 4 years. Either he is going to sign with us or he is going to one of two divisional rivals. Need I say more?
Any of these free agents would be a huge splash for the Falcons organization. So, let’s not wait any longer. Jump off that diving board, and cannon ball into the mix. Let us know what you think. Comment on the article or tweet us @bloggingdirty. You can find me at @ianborders7