Atlanta Falcons: Lessons learned from previous offseasons
By Curtis Hobbs
It’s easy to see how the Falcons were able to erect themselves as a playoff contender after those five great acquisitions. But, unfortunately, the measure of the team’s recent performance has been pictured in the “whiffs” and the “busts” of the additions of these players to Atlanta.
The hope of what may have been lies in the empty lockers of those who once had their belongings within them or in the faded memory of misery that accompanied them when everyone watched them don the Falcons jersey.
As their hopes and dreams become dustier and dustier as each day passes, these players will forever be a bust in the eyes of all of the Falcon-faithful, knowing that these players took up a lot of cap room and a spot on the roster. And as we look at more recent additions of the Dimitroff years, let’s remember that this is in whom we must trust for another year.
Let’s just hope that Coach Quinn can take control of the ship and navigate it back on its course.
Steven Jackson: Signed in 2012. It’s hard to call Jackson a total bust because of his history in St. Louis, but when the Falcons “kicked the tires” on the worn-down runningback it was was obvious the tank was drying up quickly. He totaled 625 yards in the two season with Atlanta and was paid heavily.
Ray Edwards: Signed in 2011. He was the “hot” commodity that Atlanta signed in 2011 to a 5-year deal. Too bad that he was mostly invisible and depleting a team financially until his release in 2012. (could be one of the worst moves made by Atlanta)
Leonard Hankerson: Signed in 2015. After being an overlooked component in Washington, the Falcons chose to sign him to a deal. Unfortunately, the only impact he made on the games were the many dropped passes which led to his release from Atlanta… and New England after they took a shot on him after the Falcons.
Jake Long: Signed in 2015. Surely a former All-Pro offensive lineman would be able to come back and return to a starting role on a team who had a patch-worked offensive line. Not the case and the former all-pro offensive tackle was great at protecting the bench.
Adrian Clayborn: Signed in 2015. After being a high draft pick by the Buccaneers, you’d think he’d have something to give the Falcons after he was released by Tampa Bay? Well, unfortunately, he failed to live up to the expectations of all who watched him play, and he proved over and over why he was released.
These players are only a portion of those who failed to live up to their contracts and expectations. Albeit they had some role for the Falcons, these never gave much support and have been-or will be- released without a regret in the minds of the front office.
Next: Lessons learned