Brent Grimes, Jason Snelling Get Atlanta Falcons RFA Tenders As NFL Lockout Looms

The Falcons re-up Coy Wire, Trey Lewis and Robbie Agnone but part ways with Erik Coleman, Brian Finneran and Brian Williams.

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Brent Grimes, Jason Snelling Get Atlanta Falcons RFA Tenders As NFL Lockout Looms

With the NFL lockout still in doubt, the Atlanta Falcons are going about business as usual. They placed tender offers on cornerback Brent Grimes (first round) and running back Jason Snelling (second round) this week. Though a new Collective Bargaining Agreement would likely prove these moves moot, teams are still protecting their assets just in case.

As evidenced by these moves, the Falcons definitely want to keep Grimes and Snelling on this team. For Grimes, it makes perfect sense. He's a starter who is able to take advantage of the extra attention afforded him by having Dunta Robinson on the other side. 

Snelling, however, will be tougher to keep. The Falcons aren't likely to break the bank to bring back a backup running back. (Say that sentence 10 times real fast!). If another team likes what they've seen the past two seasons from Snelling, they could swoop in and make him a No. 1 running back. 

My hope is he stays. My blood pressure stays low knowing that if anything happens to Michael Turner, Snelling is there to keep the offense moving. How important is Snelling to the Falcons? Last year, he was second in the NFL in rushing yards among backs that did not start a game. Only Ricky Williams ran for more yards as a non-starter. 

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Brian Finneran, Brian Williams To Become Free Agents After Falcons Opt Not To Re-Sign

Brian Finneran and Brian Williams will have a chance to test the waters around the NFL now that the Atlanta Falcons have elected not to re-sign them, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter. The Falcoholic will miss Finneran much more than Williams, and I certainly agree.

Finneran had become something of a player-coach by last summer, when I saw him walking younger receivers through drills. Like, putting his hands on their shoulders and steering them where they needed to go. From his clutch third-down grabs to special teams excellence to his many appearances on Atlanta radio, Finneran was a straight-up Falcon.

I mean that as a compliment. You never know.

Williams was often good and often ehhh (but always terrible, according to those stat-grader websites with mystical charts and data, and no I’m not talking about the ever-excellent Football Outsiders). The team has a queue of cornerbacks who need to make something of themselves. Brent Grimes is a keeper, Dunta Robinson is sticking around … after that, there’s a lot to sort through, plus the team should consider drafting another defensive back this time around.

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Brian Finneran, Brian Williams Won't Be Re-Signed By Atlanta Falcons, According To Report

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports is reporting the Atlanta Falcons have told would-be free agents Brian Finneran and Brian Williams they will not be re-signed by the team. For Finneran this ends a nine-year career with the Falcons that began in 2000. He was an undrafted free agent out of Villanova and played briefly with the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europa before latching on with Atlanta. His best season was in the 2002 playoff campaign when he caught 56 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Finneran, who turned 35 in January, finished his Falcons career 12th on the reception list with 236 catches.

Williams was signed in 2009 after the Jacksonville Jaguars cut him loose prior to the season. He worked his way into the starting lineup at cornerback but lasted only five games before tearing his ACL. This past season, the acquisition of Dunta Robinson and emergence of Brent Grimes reduced Williams to a reserve role. He finished his Falcons career with one sack and one interception in 21 games played.

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Trey Lewis, Robbie Agnone Sign Contract Extensions With Atlanta Falcons

It was announced earlier this week the Atlanta Falcons would not be using the franchise tag on any of their high-profile free agents this season but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to sign the players they know they can. First it was Coy Wire and now Trey Lewis and Robbie Agnone have agreed to extensions.

Agnone didn’t see any playing time outside of the practice squad and Lewis only appeared in one game to cover for Jonathan Babineaux’s suspension. Neither player appears to have a direct impact on whether this team wins a Super Bowl or not but as Dave Choate of The Falcoholic points out, “this is a team that values depth. Even if Lewis is the last guy on the depth chart at defensive tackle, he’s an insurance policy with some upside at a position where you can never have enough warm bodies. The fact that he’s talented enough to be more than that makes him a wise signing.”

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Coy Wire Signs New Two-Year Contract With Atlanta Falcons

Nine-year pro Coy Wire signed a two-year extension with the Atlanta Falcons Wednesday, the Falcons' official site reports. The financial terms were not disclosed but the deal keeps a solid special teams player and, from all accounts, a great locker room guy around for a few more seasons.

Wire was originally drafted by the Bills in the 2002 NFL Draft and played strong safety before making the switch to linebacker. He joined the Falcons in 2008 and has played sparingly behind starting linebacker Curtis Lofton. His best season was his rookie year when he tallied 96 tackles and three sacks.

The signing of Wire still leaves the Falcons with potential free agents Stephen Nicholas and Mike Peterson unsigned. Until there's a new Collective Bargaining Agreement players cannot become free agents so the Falcons (along with every NFL team) face a precarious decision of having to plan for the draft without knowing for sure what holes they'll have to fill.

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