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NFL Free Agency 2012 Begins: Falcons To Lose Curtis Lofton, Improve Secondary?

NFL free agency open season begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. But wait, didn't the Atlanta Falcons already bring on two new players, Lofa Tatupu and Vince Manuwai? How can this be? Those gents weren't under contract last year, and thus weren't subject to the free agency waiting period.

Before we go any further, let's take a look at the sacred free agency spreadsheet, which shows who's already been signed, who's still up for a deal, and who's likely gone from the Falcons:

Both John Abraham and Curtis Lofton are expected to move along, with Abraham looking for a deal in the $10 million range and Lofton ready to cash in on his first big contract.

While Atlanta's expected to pursue an impact pass rusher and perhaps some more offensive line competition in free agency, it might not happen right away. Last year, Thomas Dimitroff showed he's willing to wait for the market to settle a little before making a move.

SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber forecasts the Falcons getting into the defensive back hunt pretty quickly, however, and has them looking into Carlos Rogers and Tracy Porter, along with Michael Bush as a potential replacement for Michael Turner.

But Mario Williams is the biggest prize in this free agency round, and the Falcons are reported to be in the running. Williams has time to collect offers and do some bargaining, so don't look for any major news at defensive end for the time being.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.