With teams now two days into their free agency forays, the pace of the signings has slackened a little bit, but there are still plenty of great players available on the market.
While the Falcons have largely played the waiting game this offseason and have stayed very quiet, a couple of their NFC South counterparts have been pretty active these past two days. Those teams would be the Buccaneers, who continue to sign players as if none will be left over, and the Saints, who finally made a splash of their own after losing several talented players.
News and notes from round two of free agency after the jump...
As alluded to, the Saints made a big-time signing by inking Pro-Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to a five-year / $36M dollar deal on Thursday. After losing Carl Nicks to the Bucs, it was essentially a no-brainer that New Orleans needed a replacement on the offensive line.
In addition, the team is reportedly set to host even more players on visits as the week continues, including LB David Hawthorne and TE Joel Dreessen.
What puzzles me is that every earlier report had indicated the Saints had essentially no cap space. Are they over the cap ceiling now? Beats me. But given the organization's track record of ignoring NFL rules, that wouldn't surprise me at all.
Updated spreadsheet (though not much has changed)
The Falcons remain dormant. Whether they are waiting for the market frenzy to die down and sign a quality player for a significantly cheaper price (a smart move) or are still working to resign guys like John Abraham or Todd McClure remains to be seen.
As Dave Choate of The Falcoholic mentions, there are hints that the Falcons are still actively trying to keep Abraham in Atlanta. The Tennessee Titans have also reportedly expressed interest in the veteran defensive end, but with their brass preoccupied with the Peyton Manning frenzy Abraham's decision could take a few more days.
Beyond that, the Rams are reportedly interested in McClure, and twice now a Curtis Lofton signing has been falsely reported on Twitter, possibly indicating that he's been close to a deal for a while now.
Oh, and about Mario Williams? You can pretty much all but guarantee he'll be a Buffalo Bill very soon. Word is that he's already flown his fiancée into town, and they are currently inquiring about purchasing a home in Buffalo. Sounds like a done deal to me.
But worry not: there are plenty of quality free agents left on the board. Kendall Langford, Mark Anderson, and Demetrius Bell are all players I could see the Falcons working towards in the coming days.
After a string of high-profile signings in the opening stages of free agency, the team has understandably settled down quite a bit. They have, however, reportedly added a quality backup QB in Dan Orlovsky.
Given Josh Freeman's tendency to escape the pocket and run with the ball every so often, a backup better than Josh Johnson might not be such a bad idea. With that signing, I would expect the Bucs' spending spree to be almost concluded. The team also released C Jeff Faine on Wednesday, a logical move after spending a fortune on Nicks and re-signing lineman Jeremy Zuttah.
There's one other team that's been as quiet as the Falcons, and that's Carolina. The team is set to host a visit by former Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura, but that's just about it for the Cats. But to be fair, their fans did experience that massive spending spree last offseason that included DE Charles Johnson and a trade for TE Greg Olsen.