NFL Free Agency: Jason Snelling Ends Up Back In Atlanta For One More Year

By locking up Tyson Clabo and Ray Edwards, the Atlanta Falcons have accomplished their two biggest free agency goals already. Who's next to get re-signed?

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NFL Free Agency: Jason Snelling, Falcons Come To Terms, According To Report

Having been left standing in the cold by the Giants, Rams, Chiefs and reportedly (sort of (maybe)) the Dolphins and Bengals as well, Atlanta Falcons free agent RB Jason Snelling has decided to stick around the A for one more year, according to Pat Yasinkas.

Watching Snelling's stab at free agency was awkward and not fun at all. He's a multi-talented player who could help any team in a variety of ways, but for some reason players like Cadillac Williams came off the board before he did. The market simply had too many running backs, it appears.

Some NFL teams may be wising up about backs in general, as they're the players most likely to be injured and the least likely to contribute for many years. Snelling's array of skills makes him more valuable than any old back, of course, but not every team is going to realize that.

It all worked out in the end for the Falcons, apparently, who likely got a good deal on their backup running back.

With this move, free agency is likely just about over for Atlanta, though they might pick up a cheap veteran defensive back or some such at some point.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; STL target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jamaal Anderson DL 25 Cut IND: 1-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA STL

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA ATL: 6-Yr, $38M

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA ATL: 4-Yr

 

Michael Jenkins WR 29 Cut MIN: 3-Yr

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

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Atlanta Falcons Roster 2011, Post-Free Agency (Most Of It, At Least)

With the bulk of free agency now out of the way, the 2011 roster is finally beginning to take on a solid shape. The Falcons, in typical Dimitroff fashion, made one big signing in Ray Edwards, but otherwise tried to keep the Falcons' own free agents. Fortunately the team doesn't look too different from the Falcons roster that went 13-3 last season.

Actually, in many ways this year's roster is better than last year's version, with quite a few high potential players that will alter the course of the whole season. Let's take a look:

Falcons 2011 Roster

New Arrivals: Like I said, Edwards is the big one. In fact, he's the only non-Falcon veteran that's been brought into Atlanta this offseason. He'll get the bulk of the snaps at LE opposite from Abe, and hopefully the consistency he brings will bolster the Falcons pass rush in 2011. Ten sacks from Edwards wouldn't be unreasonable.

And, of course, as far as rookies go I've discussed their respective roles on the Falcons in detail already. However, it's also worth noting that after seeing Julio Jones in person, I'm willing to bet he could double as a linebacker. He's absolutely huge.

The Falcons also have signed over 23 undrafted free agents. I've already mentioned a few I like to beat the odds and make the roster, including Adam Froman and Paul Fenaroli. However, with such a short training camp these rookies' chances will likely all come down to how they perform in the preseason games.

Departures: In a move to free up cap space, the team cut Michael Jenkins and Jamaal Anderson last week. While I thought Jenkins could still be valuable to the team, the presence of Julio would likely have limited Jenkins' ability to be on the field too much to justify his $5M salary.

The only major player the Falcons couldn't keep was Harvey Dahl, who went to the Rams. Jerious Norwood also went to the Rams, and the team lost a few other small pieces in Finneran and Brian Williams. Michael Koenen also went to the Bucs on a reasonable(?) six year, $19M contract. Fortunately, the Falcons have potential replacements on the roster at all of these positions.

Outlook: The roster really doesn't look too different from the one that went 13-3 last season, and that's probably a good thing. The Falcons addressed their three biggest needs this offseason as well: pass rusher (Edwards), big play wide receiver (Jones) and speedy running back (Rodgers).

If the team can manage to bring Snelling back, that would make an already dangerous offense even better. 2010 produced six Pro Bowlers on the Falcons offense, and this season they should yet again be the unit that carries this team. Roddy White has already broken out the "greatest show on turf" comparison.

However, you simply cannot overlook a defense loaded with as much young talent as this Falcons group. Biermann, Jerry, Peters, Weatherspoon, Lofton, DeCoud, and Moore were all drafted in 2008 or later. Add in established veterans John Abraham and Dunta Robinson and Brian VanGorder has one potentially fantastic group at his disposal.

If the Falcons can somehow pickup a veteran defensive back between now and the start of the preseason, that would make me a little happier. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled with the current Falcons roster.

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Brent Grimes Ready For Falcons Training Camp, Reports Roddy White

As the number of Georgia media outlets that don't have one ongoing spat or another with the Brent Grimes family dwindles, there's still one source you can count on for the latest in Brent Grimes coverage: Roddy White. This morning White tweeted a welcome to Grimes, who had apparently made it into the facility, before later noting Grimes had "honored" his contact.

So there you have it, I suppose. Haven't seen anything official from the team or definitive from outlets that compete with White for the latest in Grimes coverage, but let's assume Grimes will join his teammates on the field in just a couple hours.

Ray Edwards, Tyson Clabo and others should also hit the field after sitting out the morning walkthrough due to collective bargaining agreemzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Chiefs Sign Le'Ron McClain After Working Out Jason Snelling, According To Report

Even for those of us who want Jason Snelling to return to the Atlanta Falcons, this is getting kind of frustrating. First he went to visit the New York Giants, only to see his hometown team re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw. Then the St. Louis Rams passed him over for fellow Falcons veteran Jerious Norwood and Cadillac Williams, with Ronnie Brown going to the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Le'Ron McClain now gone to the Kansas City Chiefs, the free agency pool is fresh out of decent running backs, besides Snelling. The Chiefs even worked him out, according to John Clayton, before opting for McClain.

Seriously, who's left? There's Kevin Smith, Jerome Harrison ... Ricky Williams ... Tiki Barber ... Whether Snelling is as nationally known as Williams and Barber or not, he doesn't need to be waiting alongside a retired TV analyst for a deal. Come on home, big guy.

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Atlanta Falcons Sign UDFA Kevin Cone, According To Georgia Tech

A somewhat popular assumption: Paul Johnson's flexbone offense can't succeed at the BCS level because it can't produce NFL-caliber talent, especially at wide receiver. Sure, it cranks out receivers who are good at blocking, but it's rare for any of them to have much of a chance to produce consistent catches.

If only there were a NFL team that really loves blocking receivers. Why, hello there! The Atlanta Falcons have brought on former Georgia Tech WR Kevin Cone as an undrafted free agent, according to the school. Local pipeline established, and Paul Johnson will be so relieved to know you're now convinced he'll be able to recruit receivers.

Cone is fast, pretty big (six-foot-two, 207 pounds) and clearly doesn't mind doing work. He's used to making something out of an opportunity, too, having walked on by way of Shorter College.  

There are now approximately fiftyleven wide receivers in Flowery Branch.

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Jerious Norwood To Rams All But Done Deal, According To Reports

Turf Show Times is doing a mighty fine job of staying on top of the latest Jerious Norwood news, collecting reports detailing each step of his journey to signing with the St. Louis Rams. According to reports he's visited Rams Park, taken a physical and had a team picture after being taken out for dinner by the team Monday night. The Rams have even teased a free agency announcement later Tuesday.

Good for Norwood, a talented player who for one reason (Bobby Petrino) or another (constant injuries) wasn't able to make a sustained impact in Atlanta. It'll be bittersweet watching him succeed elsewhere. He'll be reunited with his college coach, Sylvester Croom, who coaches backs in St. Louis, plus Harvey Dahl.

On the positive side, this does take another team out of the running for Jason Snelling. There haven't been any reports of teams besides the Giants and Rams showing interest in Snelling, unless if you count the Bengals and Dolphins murmurs, which were very murmury.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; STL target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jamaal Anderson DL 25 Cut IND: 1-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA STL

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA ATL: 6-Yr, $38M

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA ATL: 4-Yr

 

Michael Jenkins WR 29 Cut MIN: 3-Yr

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

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Brent Grimes' First-Round Tender Means He'll Likely Stick Around, We Can Deduce

Some excellent work* by D. Orlando Ledbetter here in using a story from the other side of the NFC South to help explain what might be going on in Flowery Branch. As you know, Atlanta Falcons restricted free agent Brent Grimes has a first-round tender by his name. This means any team that wants to sign him must be willing to give up a top pick to the Falcons for the right to do so. 

New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks was in the same predicament as Grimes -- he chose to just go ahead and sign, since that first-round tender made him "close to radioactive on the NFL market."

That tender is worth a $2.61 million salary, by the way, which means that's how much Grimes would make for a one-year deal if he stays in Atlanta. That's a steal for a Pro Bowl CB, but be assured they'd get to work negotiating a long-term deal.

D. Led also comes up with a quick list of potential replacements, including disgruntled and displaced Philadelphia Eagles CB Asante Samuel.

* Except, perhaps, for the title of that piece, to which Grimes takes exception.

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NFL Free Agency Rumors: Jerious Norwood Likely To Sign With Rams Tuesday

I have no idea how reliable Joe Pelusi of St. Louis' 590 The Fan is. You hate to start out an update with such an uncouth statement, but AM radio guys across the nation are wildly wrong on just about everything everyday. It's not your fault, Mr. Pelusi.

Mr. Pelusi reports departed Atlanta Falcons RB Jerious Norwood has been in St. Louis since at latest Tuesday night, and was spotted at an area Ruth's Chris to boot. A Tuesday signing with the Rams is in the works, according to the report.

St. Louis could be a fine fit for Norwood. He'd be close to his native lands, backing up a running back who's usually good for about 21,150 carries or so per season and he'd have fellow former Falcon Harvey Dahl in camp with him. 

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Osi Umenyiora, Falcons Trade Rumors Still Going Stro- Wait, What?

NFL.com's Jason La Canfora details the progress of the New York Giants attempts to deal DE Osi Umenyiora, listing some of the teams who've likely been in touch with New York throughout Monday: the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.

And the Atlanta Falcons. Really now!

Does La Canfora know the Falcons just signed DE Ray Edwards? He does, and implies Atlanta's push for Umenyiora was so aggressive that he could see the Falcons trying to grab another pass rusher, "despite the signing" of the Minnesota Vikings DE.

Wouldn't that be nuts? John Abraham, Edwards, Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann rotating around Jonathan Babineaux and company, with Sean Weatherspoon, Curtis Lofton and William Moore blitzing. Why yes, that would be nuts. Such a move would be perceived as just as much an all-in gesture as was the Julio Jones trade. Assume it won't happen. Kinda want it to, though.

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Jamaal Anderson Lands With Colts After Falcons Cut, According To Report

According to Pro Football Talk, former Atlanta Falcons DL Jamaal Anderson has signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Anderson was cut Friday morning in a move that appeared to help make room for incoming DE Ray Edwards, Atlanta's big free agency prize of the year.

Anderson never lived up to his draft standing during his time in Atlanta, producing only about one sack per season as a defensive end. He moved inside toward the end of his Falcons stint, where he was more effective, but still not quite valuable enough to justify what was still a top-10 pick's salary.

Remember, rookies didn't always sign deals for like $39,000, all guaranteed!

The Colts have the NFL's best bookend set of pass rushing ends, so Anderson won't be under any pressure to carry the load himself. He'll also have plenty of talent to learn from. Might be a good situation for him.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; STL target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jamaal Anderson DL 25 Cut IND: 1-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign; STL target

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA ATL: 6-Yr, $38M

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA ATL: 4-Yr

 

Michael Jenkins WR 29 Cut MIN: 3-Yr

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

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NFL Free Agency Rumors: Rams Choosing Between Ronnie Brown, Jason Snelling

Couple hours late on this one, but it's still important. The St. Louis Rams, who've been attached to every Atlanta Falcons free agent since time began, are now looking into Ronnie Brown in addition to Falcons RB Jason SnellingMichael Lombardi reports. Lombardi says they're also looking for a nickel CB -- the dream of the Rams acquiring Falcons CB Brian Williams to complete the set is alive.

Update: LOL

I confirmed from both Rams and League sources that FB/short yardage back Jason Snelling was never an option for the Rams.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Some have speculated that Snelling to the Rams or Giants would mean the Falcons taking a look at Brown. He hails from Georgia and played at Auburn, not that any of that really matters here.

But if the Rams end up going with Brown, Snelling could find himself low on options. I'd love to see him get paid what he deserves, but am a selfish, selfish person, and if his best offer comes from the Falcons then :).

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Ahmad Bradshaw Re-Signing With Giants, Taking One Team Off Jason Snelling List

Entering Monday, we knew the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams were reportedly competing with the Atlanta Falcons for RB Jason Snelling. The Falcons back reportedly headed up to his native lands of New Jersey to visit with the Giants Sunday night, which sort of looked like an attempt to convince Ahmad Bradshaw to re-sign with New York.

Whether that was the point of Snelling's wining and dining or not, Bradshaw is reportedly back in the fold in New York, according to Mike Garafolo.

Update: Damn that's cold, bros.

The Bengals have also reportedly showed interest in the Snellraiser, and the Dolphins have at least been rumored to be a part of the race. But knocking one team off the list, especially a team that plays in an area to which Snelling has ties, looks to be a good sign for Falcons fans who hope to see him in red and black. 

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Jason Snelling 'On Way' To Meet With Giants, According To Report

We've known the New York Giants are believed to be interested in acquiring Atlanta Falcons free agent RB Jason Snelling. Now here's where the benefit of New York having 100,000 media outlets per capita comes in: constant coverage of everything that ever happens. If Snelling were going to Tampa Bay, we wouldn't even know that he'd been signed until Week 2.

Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger reported Snelling is going to visit with the Giants. Adam Caplan added three minutes later that Snelling is on his way there right now. 

Giants fans don't seem all that pumped about the idea of picking up Snelling, but if they're going by nothing but rushing yards or some pretty stupid stat for a backup running back, then they might want to look a little deeper.

He has excellent hands, is a great blocker and was about as good at running the ball as Michael Turner was last year -- and he was more consistent, at least. He may not be as famous as whichever amazing and famous former Jets or Redskins player you want New York to sign so badly, but I think he could find a way to improve the backfield depth chart of any team in the league.

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Add Giants, Bengals To Jason Snelling Derby, Based On Reports

You've heard the reports of the St. Louis Rams looking into Jason Snelling, along with reports of the Rams looking into every other athlete who's ever worn a Falcons uniform, whether the individual actually played for the Falcons or not. Jason Heyward once wore a Falcons hat, for instance.

According to NBC Sports' Evan Silva, you can add the New York Giants, who missed out on re-signing Ahmad Bradshaw. He adds the Cincinnati Bengals, who may have dropped out after re-upping Cedric Benson. But Bradshaw is visiting those Bengals, which is so full circle it's not even a circle at all. If they're still interested in Bradshaw, let's assume they're still interested in Snelling. Tiger stripes. Ugh.

Yahoo! Sports' Brad Evans also added the Miami Dolphins to the list, though his note on the matter seems more speculative than anything. Our spreadsheet accepts.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; STL target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA CIN, MIA, NYG, STL target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign; STL target

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA ATL: 6-Yr, $38M

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA ATL: 4-Yr

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

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NFL Free Agency: Justin Blalock's Contract Shows Falcons Love Their Left Guard

Via D. Orlando Ledbetter, we now have a look at Atlanta Falcons LG Justin Blalock's new contract: six years for $38 million, with $16 million guaranteed. Wow!

That makes it the highest deal the Falcons have given this offseason in addition to the longest. It also includes a guaranteed figure just $200,000 shy of first round pick Julio Jones'. Did you expect Blalock's deal to look this much better than Tyson Clabo's? I sure didn't.

Kind of wonder if Blalock's status as the potential second Falcons offensive lineman to leave in free agency gave him significant bargaining power. His agent knew the team wasn't planning on filling two interior line positions this year, so. Either way, Thomas Dimitroff is smarter at football than you and me, this deal isn't outrageous by any means for a dependable starter and almost every free agency goal has now been achieved.

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Justin Blalock Re-Signed By Atlanta Falcons, Keeping Nearly Entire OL Intact

The Atlanta Falcons have made sure their offensive line will only have one depth chart battle this training camp, re-signing LG Justin Blalock, with Jason La Canfora winning the race to report this one. Minutes later, the team itself confirmed the news.

Update: D. Orlando Ledbetter adds that it's a six-year deal, the longest the Falcons have given anybody this offseason.

Atlanta lost RG Harvey Dahl to the St. Louis Rams but was able to retain RT Tyson Clabo, so hanging onto Blalock became high priority over the weekend. Mike Smith said so himself, y'all.

To this point, the Falcons don't appear to have lost out on a player that they actually wanted to add. I'm sure they would've liked to have hung onto Dahl, but coming in few expected them to be able to keep all three free agent OL, and evidently the choices were Clabo and Blalock. The only major free agents left for the Falcons to re-sign: CB Brent Grimes and RB Jason Snelling. Grimes is all but a sure thing, while it wouldn't be surprising to see Snelling move along.

Blalock is entering his fifth year in the NFL, all of which have been spent starting for Atlanta. 

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; Rams target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign; Rams target

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA ATL: 6-Yr

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA ATL: 4-Yr

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

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NFL Free Agency: Jamaal Anderson Visting Titans, Broncos According To Reports

Departed Atlanta Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson looks to be on his way to finding a new gig. Jim Wyatt reports the Tennessee Titans will have him in, adding that a "number of other teams" are interested in his services. Mike Klis reveals the Broncos as one of those teams, reporting Anderson will visit Denver.

Anderson can play a little end and a little tackle. He entered the NFL as a top-10 pick at end, but bulked up over the last two years to add some versatility to his game and more value to Atlanta's line rotation.

He's never been much of a pass rusher at the pro level. Against the run, though, he could be useful, and new Broncos coach John Fox certainly knows what he'd be getting, having coached a NFC South rival for Anderson's entire career so far.

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NFL Rumors: No, Seriously, Rams Want Every Falcons Free Agent

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports former Atlanta Falcons RB Jerious Norwood has joined current Falcons free agent Jason Snelling on the list of St. Louis Rams free agency targets. This is becoming a problem.

The Rams are also reportedly interested in WR Brian Finneran, who the Falcons won't re-sign, and have already taken RG Harvey Dahl. Since CB Brent Grimes is a sure thing to stay, this means every position player that leaves Atlanta via free agency may end up in St. Louis, if only the Rams also want to pick up CB Brian Williams.

You guys need a cornerback too, don't you? Let me tell you some great things about Brian Williams:

  • You'll get to make jokes about the NBC news man after lit'rally every play.
  • He's also played for the Vikings and Jaguars, and you know what they say about that.
  • He has four career sacks. Lethal!
  • Only the fourth player in Vikings history to post 200-plus yards on interception returns in a season.
  • NFC Defensive Player of the Week for November 23, 2003.
  • When healthy, he's actually still pretty good at football. I was happy with his output when he joined the team.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; Rams target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign; Rams target

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA Falcons target

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA ATL: 4-Yr

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

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Falcons 'Emphatic' About Re-Signing Justin Blalock After Harvey Dahl Exit

With the loss of Harvey Dahl to the St. Louis Rams, who've become some sort of higher plane to which Atlanta Falcons free agents must ascend, you've assumed the Birds will do everything they can to hang on to LG Justin Blalock. Few offensive lines can have the kind of consistent production Atlanta's has had while losing 40 percent of their manpower.

Well, you were right! Coach Mike Smith himself confirms the team "wants to try to get [him] back." Knox Bardeen describes him as "emphatic," which means a nearby DeAngelo Hall may have backed down with his hands shielding his face, but I cannot confirm that part.

That might be a little bit of a relief for any fans who worried about offensive line continuity, but it shouldn't be that big of a surprise. We've been preparing for for almost a year now to see the team lose one lineman, but outside of a few reports I don't think anybody expected to lose two.

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Vikings Sign Michael Jenkins To Three-Year Deal, According To Report

Longtime Falcons WR Michael Jenkins has reportedly signed a three-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, according to Adam Schefter. Jenkins was cut by the Falcons early Friday morning in a move meant to free up cap space for newly acquired DE Ray Edwards.

While Jenkins is a solid veteran option at receiver, his performance in 2010 (41 catches for 505 yards receiving) didn't exactly match his $5M per year salary. With both Roddy White and Julio Jones locked in as the starting receivers, Jenkins essentially became expendable, and the team made a good move by using his salary to fund the Edwards signing.

The move also makes sense for the Vikings, who are in need of a receiver after losing Sidney Rice to the Seahawks. As for Julio, who is drawing more praise by the day, this move clearly means the coaching staff is expecting him to hit the ground running in 2011.

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NFL Free Agency Rumors: Rams Want Every RB, Not Just Jason Snelling

Jason Snelling might be my third-favorite player on the Atlanta Falcons roster behind Roddy White and Brent Grimes. So it's with tentative relief that I share this: the St. Louis Rams are reportedly courting every running back in the league, or at least Ronnie Brown and Joseph Addai.

What's that have to do with anything? The Rams are the only team that's reportedly shown interest in taking Snelling away from Atlanta. Since they've also swiped Harvey Dahl, we may be looking at a pipeline similar to the Braves-Royals connection. Get your own players, Missouri.

Snelling is just one of three free agents the Falcons have left to re-sign, and the other two -- Grimes and Justin Blalock -- are almost surely going to be brought back. His broad skill set is hard to replicate, and I don't know if there are any backs on the roster that the team would trust just yet as an every-down player.

Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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NFL Free Agency: Falcons Re-Sign Eric Weems, According To Report

Kind of an unusual course of events on this one, but here goes: early Saturday afternoon, Falcons Pro Bowl kick returner Eric Weems, a restricted free agent, sent a tweet that implied he'd re-signed with the team. But shortly after he tweeted, "Back for another year baby," that tweet disappeared.

CBS Sports' Knox Bardeen checked to confirm that Weems has indeed signed back on.

The terms and financials of the deal have not yet been disclosed. (Update: Team confirms: one-year deal.) Weems, who was named to his first career Pro Bowl as a special teamer in 2010, was an exclusive rights free agent and had made no indication of any desire to leave Atlanta.

A guy who was brought in as an undrafted rookie and essentially worked his way up through the ranks, Weems has found his role on the Falcons as a fantastic kickoff coverage man and as a backup receiver. His two return TD's last season (one kickoff, one punt) also displayed his game-changing ability as a return specialist.

With Weems now under contract, that leaves only Justin Blalock, Jason Snelling, and Brent Grimes as the remaining Falcons free agents who have yet to re-sign with the team.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; Rams target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA STL: 4-Yr

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA Reportedly re-signing

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Thomas Johnson DT 30 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.

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Ray Edwards' Stats Show He Wasn't Just Jared Allen's Sidekick

Can Ray Edwards succeed without Jared Allen and the Williams Wall?

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Harvey Dahl, Rams Agree On Free Agency Deal, According To Adam Schefter

Harvey Dahl has agreed to sign a four-year deal with the St. Louis Rams, Adam Schefter reported Friday. It had been assumed the Atlanta Falcons would only be able to keep one or two of their free agent offensive linemen. With Dahl reportedly gone, this could mean Justin Blalock will be back next year.

Dahl will be remembered in Atlanta as a fierce competitor who rose through the ranks with play that was colorfully described elsewhere throughout the league. If the Atlanta offense has had an identity, it's that of a brawly running game. No player contributed more to that rep than did Dahl.

Who steps in? Expect former Alabama guard Mike Johnson to be given a chance to take the spot. You don't spend a third-round pick on a lineman unless you're preparing for him to one day start.

No updated spreadsheet for this one, as I'm typing via phone. Life is hard.

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NFL Free Agency Rumors: Harvey Dahl Drawing Rams Interest

The Atlanta Flacons secured one of the key members of the offensive line earlier today by re-signing Tyson Clabo, but now it appears that they might lose one of their other starters up front to the St. Louis Rams. NFL Draft Update is reporting that the Rams are showing a lot of interest in Harvey Dahl, and that the guard is expected to sign with St. Louis.

Strong indication that #Falcons free agent RG Harvey Dahl will sign with the #Rams.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Dahl has started 43 games for the Falcons over the past three years, including 16 games in both 2008 and 2010. In that time he has earned a reputation as being one of the meanest and nastiest players in the NFL, which is exactly the kind of guy you want lining up at guard for you every week. Securing Clabo was a must, but losing Dahl would also leave a pretty big hole along the offensive line as well.

Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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Ray Edwards Signing With Falcons In Free Agency, Reports Jay Glazer

Told you the pieces would start landing once Tyson Clabo re-signed. FOX's Jay Glazer reported Friday afternoon that the Atlanta Falcons had agreed to five-year contract terms with Minnesota Vikings DE Ray Edwards, who'd reportedly been the team's top target for months now.

Update: D. Orlando Ledbetter confirms "Air Blank departs at 6:01 p.m. to scoop him up."

Update: Adam Schefter says the deal is for $30 million, with $11 million guaranteed.

Rumors throughout the week have had the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and others also jockeying for his services. The Eagles dropped out, if they were ever in, upon landing Jason Babin, while we don't yet know if the others were interested.

We also don't yet know how much the Falcons paid for Edwards. The team can afford a move like this, having released two former first-round picks Friday, though they still have a few key free agents left to re-sign. Edwards won't be able to join the team for practice until next week, if indeed he has agreed to terms with the team, but wow.

In five years as a Viking, Edwards compiled 29.5 sacks in 72 games and 58 starts. He's put up eight or more sacks in two straight seasons and five or more in four straight. He'll be penciled in as the starter opposite John Abraham from day one on.

How do we feel about Atlanta's defense now?

Updated free agency chart:

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign; Rams target

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA Rams target

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA Reportedly re-signing

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr, $19.5M

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Ray Edwards DE 26 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $30M

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Thomas Johnson DT 30 UFA

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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Tyson Clabo's Falcons Contract Reportedly $25 Million-Plus Over Five Years

Thursday night, Atlanta Falcons fans got a piece of news worth waiting for. RT Tyson Clabo was reported as having agreed to a new five-year deal. But wait, there's more. What would you expect to pay for a Pro Bowl tackle who hasn't missed a game in years?

Jason La Canfora reported Clabo will make $25 million, or as much as $27 million, over the course of the deal, with $11.5 million guaranteed. That sounds like a really good deal. Some had pegged the Buffalo Bills offer as being in the neighborhood of $7 million per year, so it sounds like Clabo gave the Falcons a significant hometown discount. Makes that extra negotiating time seem worth it after all.

Updated Falcons free agency list: 

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA Reportedly re-signing

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Thomas Johnson DT 30 UFA

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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NFL Free Agency: Michael Koenen Signing With Bucs, Plotting Vengeance

This story started a couple months ago when the Atlanta Falcons drafted Miami Hurricanes specialist Matt Bosher. He can kick and punt. Nobody knew why that had happened until we looked up and realized both Matt Bryant's and Michael Koenen's contracts were up. Thursday night, Bryant was re-signed. Now you're all caught up.

Adam Schefter reported at midnight Thursday that Koenen will be joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, having agreed to a six-year deal. Six years! The Falcons would have to play against Koenen at least 12 times if that entire deal played out. Think of the hell he could raise against his former team.

Koenen is a good player whose statistics may have been skewed by the team's preference to refute returns rather than go for yardage. He has a strong enough leg to kickoff, so he could've been a boomer of a punter had the Falcons chose to let the big dog roam. I'm saying all this to say we might never have realized how good Koenen was at his job, but now we're going to notice it every single time he succeeds.

Creamsicle'd spreadsheet for the Bucs:

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA Reportedly re-signing

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA TB: 6-Yr

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA ATL: 1-Yr

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Thomas Johnson DT 30 UFA

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA ATL: 5-Yr, $25-27M

Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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Finally, Tyson Clabo Agrees To Falcons Terms, According To Report

Atlanta Falcons free agent RT Tyson Clabo will re-sign with the Falcons, according to Adam Schefter. Last we'd heard, we wouldn't find out one way or another until Friday, so this is a nice surprise. No financial terms yet -- hopefully it's nothing outrageous, but we're talking about a durable Pro Bowler here, so get ready to see a big number.

The bidding process for Clabo's services had been reportedly down to the Bills and Falcons for at least a day, with the common rumor being that Buffalo had made a sizable offer Atlanta could choose to match or not.

Falcons fans grew pretty impatient watching other teams make deals, but now that this one is out of the day, expect pieces to start falling into place. It wouldn't have made sense for the team to re-sign its other free agent offensive linemen, Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock, without knowing whether its top priority would be coming back or not.

Hopefully Thomas Dimitroff and company had two plans drawn up for worlds with and without Clabo. Now that we know he's reportedly back for 2011 and beyond, it's time to see what plan A looks like.

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Justin Blalock LG 27 UFA

 

Matt Bryant K 36 UFA Reportedly re-signing

 

Michael Koenen P 29 UFA

 

Mike Peterson OLB 35 UFA Falcons: 1-Yr

 

Stephen Nicholas OLB 28 UFA Falcons: 5-Yr, $17.5M

 

Thomas Johnson DT 30 UFA

 

Tyson Clabo RT 29 UFA Reportedly re-signing

 



Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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NFL Free Agency: Ray Edwards Still A Falcons Target

The Falcons now appear to have renewed interest in free agent Ray Edwards, according to a report made by D. Orlando Ledbetter. Several other teams are rumored to be interested in the Minnesota defensive end, including the Browns and Titans.

As talks with OT Tyson Clabo are still ongoing, you have to think the Falcons are keeping their options open. Clabo has been priority No. 1 for the Falcons all offseason. If rumors that he’ll sign with the Bills turn out to be true, then you can bet the Falcons will be looking to spend that money elsewhere, namely Ray Edwards.

As the Falcons watched Jason Babin sign with the Eagles and Mathias Kiwanuka re-sign with the Giants earlier today, Edwards became the last impact DE available on the free agent. Though a Ray Edwards signing might seem like the Falcons’ backup plan, he would certainly still fill a key need on defense.

Visit SB Nation’s 2011 NFL free agency hub for the latest news on all 32 teams. Head to The Falcoholic to discuss more Atlanta Falcons news and opinion.

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NFL Free Agency: Falcons Re-Signing Matt Bryant, According To Report

The Atlanta Falcons are still making progress on other matters while Tyson Clabo negotiations continue. Here's a significant one: Pat Yasinkas reports the team will re-sign veteran kicker Matt Bryant. That would mean longtime punter Michael Koenen is almost assuredly gone, with versatile rookie legman Matt Bosher moving to punter, I'd assume.

Bryant earned a reputation in 2010 and late 2009 as one of the league's most clutch kickers. Pretty happy to see this report. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker has drilled 85.4 percent of his field goals since joining Atlanta.

No word on financials or terms yet, but here's an updated look at the team's list of free agents, which shows one of three critical special teamers reportedly back on board:

 

Name Pos. Age Status Word on the street

 

Brent Grimes CB 28 RFA

 

Brian Finneran WR 35 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Brian Williams CB 32 UFA Won't re-sign

 

Eric Weems KR 26 RFA

 

Harvey Dahl RG 30 UFA

 

Jason Snelling RB 27 UFA Rams target

 

Jerious Norwood HB 27 UFA Won't re-sign