The biggest name to hit the open market in recent weeks could help an ailing defense, but Atlanta seem uninterested.
When the Philadelphia Eagles released defensive end Jason Babin, fans from all 32 teams had their question loaded for their preferred source -- "would the ___ claim him on waivers?". For the vast majority of teams this query is a logical, and practical impossibility, a question that makes no sense based on the needs, finances, and status of their organization. The Atlanta Falcons, however, would make a lot of sense; they fill the criteria needed in a number of ways, but it appears there's no interest on their end.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC writes that the Falcons have made it abundantly clear that there's no interest in Jason Babin, whose 5.5 sacks this season is a dramatic drop off from his 18 in 2011:
"[the Falcons] have no interest in signing defensive end Jason Babin, who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles today."
On the one hand this makes sense. After jettisoning an under-performing defensive end of their own in Ray Edwards, what good is another? Jonathan Babineaux has moved to the outside in recent weeks, but he hasn't been an effective answer at the position. Releasing Edwards was necessary, but the Falcons, who rank 16th in team sacks, could have used another pass rusher to bookend with John Abraham, even one a flawed one like Jason Babin.
Any claims that Arthur Blank or Thomas Dimitroff aren't trying to build a Superbowl contender are ludicrous, despite making the message board rounds yesterday. However, Atlanta could do a lot worse as a stop-gap this season than picking up Jason Babin. In a one loss season almost everything is going right, but it never helps to have an extra pass rusher, especially in the post-season. It remains to be seen whether Atlanta will regret not making a move now.