2014 NFL Offseason: Atlanta Falcons
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents
Atlanta Falcons (Last Year: 4-12)
Excluding the Texans, there was no more disappointing team in the NFL this year than the Falcons. At least they can use injuries as an excuse. Five starters landed on injured reserve, and this does not include the likes of Roddy White, Steven Jackson, Asante Samuel and Sean Weatherspoon, who were out for a period of time with various maladies.
- Two Offensive Tackles: The Falcons aren't going to give up on Sam Baker after one failed season of his 6-year, $41 million contract, but perhaps they should because he appears to be a sunk cost. The right tackle position could be upgraded if the Falcons don't believe in Mike Johnson's ability to stay healthy. Perhaps Tyson Clabo can be re-signed. I don't expect Atlanta to use the No. 6 overall pick on a tackle. Re-signed Mike Johnson
- Two Defensive Tackles: Jonathan Babineaux is a free agent, while Corey Peters is coming off an Achilles injury. The Falcons will probably spend a second-day selection on an interior defensive lineman. Re-signed Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters
- Right Guard: The Falcons need to repair their entire offensive line, and their most pressing need is perhaps at right guard. Luckily, there will be plenty of talented guard prospects to choose from at the beginning of Day 2. Signed Jon Asamoah and Gabe Carimi
- Defensive End: Osi Umenyiora did an OK job in replacing John Abraham, but Atlanta has to find someone on the other side to take Kroy Biermann's role. There will be tons of pass-rushing options available with the sixth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Signed Tyson Jackson
- Center: Todd McClure was really missed at center, as neither Peter Konz nor Joe Hawley proved to be a viable replacement. Re-signed Joe Hawley
- Tight End: Tony Gonzalez announced his retirement, which means there's a chance he'll be back next year. If not, Atlanta will obviously have to find someone to replace his production.
- Running Back: Steven Jackson was a disappointment in his first year with the Falcons. He was banged up, so they'll give him another chance. Still, a long-term solution at this position is needed.
- Safety: Thomas DeCoud has struggled lately, so Atlanta could think about upgrading him.
- Wide Receiver: Roddy White will turn 33 in November, so Atlanta will have to find a long-term solution across from Julio Jones sometime soon.
- Cornerback Depth: Asante Samuel was released, so the Falcons will need to do something about their cornerback depth.
- Linebacker Depth: The Falcons must get deeper at linebacker.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Paul Soliai, DT, Dolphins. Age: 30.
Signed with Falcons (5 years, $33 million)
Paul Soliai is a big-time run-stuffer who can also get to the quarterback. He can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3, so teams that run multiple fronts will love his versatility.
Tyson Jackson, DE/DT, Chiefs. Age: 28.
Signed with Falcons (5 years, $25 million)
Tyson Jackson has turned his career around with Andy Reid. He still doesn't offer anything as a pass-rusher, but he put the clamps on the run rather well in 2013.
- Gabe Carimi, G, Buccaneers. Age: 26. -- Signed with Falcons
Atlanta Falcons Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Falcons. Age: 32.
Re-signed with Falcons (3 years)
Jonathan Babineaux has been a force in terms of stuffing the run and getting to the quarterback, but he just turned 32, so his best days are behind him.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons. Age: 38.
Tony Gonzalez, now 38, signed on with CBS to be one of their analysts, but there's a good chance he'll come out of retirement to play for a contender late in the year (Cris Carter did this with the Dolphins back in 2002). Despite his age, Gonzalez is still a threat over the middle and a strong end-zone target.
Robert McClain (RFA), CB, Falcons. Age: 26.
Robert McClain is a solid nickel corner. He'll only be 26 in July.
Asante Samuel, CB, Falcons. Age: 33.
Asante Samuel was very limited in 2013 because of a lingering thigh injury. Perhaps he'll play better when healthy next season, but his best days are obviously behind him; he turned 33 in January.
Mike Johnson, OT, Falcons. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Falcons (1 year)
Mike Johnson was set to be the starting right tackle this season, but he was lost for the year in training camp with a fractured fibula.
- Cory Peters, DT, Falcons. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Falcons
- Peria Jerry, DT, Falcons. Age: 30.
- Stephen Nicholas, OLB, Falcons. Age: 31.
- Joe Hawley, C, Falcons. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Falcons
- Garrett Reynolds, G, Falcons. Age: 27.
- Chase Coffman, TE, Falcons. Age: 27.
- Dominique Franks, CB, Falcons. Age: 26.
NFL Free Agent Tracker:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors
NFL Free Agent Tracker - March 11
2014 NFL Mock Draft - March 11
Fantasy Football Rankings - March 10
2014 NBA Mock Draft - March 5
2015 NFL Mock Draft - March 2
NFL Picks - Feb. 2
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