Monthly Archives: April 2012

Falcons Rookies Select Their Jersey Numbers

The members of the 2012 Atlanta Falcons rookie class have selected their jersey numbers:

G/C Peter Konz: 66
OT Lamar Holmes: 76
FB Bradie Ewing: 36
DE Jonathan Massaquoi: 96
S Charles Mitchell: 26
DT Travian Robertson: 92

Also of note: running back Jacquizz Rodgers has selected his new number after tweeting he’ll give #22 to Asante Samuel. Rodgers will now wear #32.

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Falcons Finish Draft By Adding Depth

The Falcons selected fullback Bradie Ewing out of Wisconsin with their 157th overall pick. Ewing is listed at 5-foot-11, 235 pounds.

Ewing is a fullback in the truest sense of the word; he won’t get many carries, but he provides the power blocking that head coach Mike Smith loves. He’ll probably take over for current stud fullback Ovie Mughelli after the 2012 season ends. Hopefully, Mughelli isn’t made expendable for this season.

With the 164th overall pick, the Falcons chose defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi from Troy. The 6-foot-2, 264 pound Massaquoi will serve as depth for the Falcons’ pass rush. He isn’t a threat to take over for John Abraham or Ray Edwards, but he may garner a few snaps as a reserve.

Charles Mitchell, a 5-foot-11, 202 pound safety from Mississippi State, was the Falcons’ 192nd overall selection. After former backup safety James Sanders left Atlanta to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, the Falcons needed a backup strong safety to William Moore. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Mitchell will fill that backup role.

With their final pick (249th overall), the Falcons drafted defensive tackle Travian Robertson from South Carolina. Robertson is listed at 6-foot-4, 302 pounds. If Robertson is active on gamedays, he’ll provide backup for starters Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters.

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Falcons Trade Down, Take Lamar Holmes

With the 91st overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Lamar Holmes, offensive tackle from Southern Mississippi. Originally slated to pick at 84, the Falcons instead opted to trade down and acquired a fifth-rounder from the Baltimore Ravens.

Holmes is 6-foot-5 and weighs 323 pounds. The selection makes sense, but Holmes will need some grooming before he’s a starter; he wasn’t rated highly.

Both the Falcons’ selections have been offensive linemen (Peter Konz was the first selection). Boring picks, yes, but it’s imperative to build up the offensive line. Quarterback Matt Ryan was under duress a lot last season, and the Falcons have addressed the problem spots at left tackle and right guard.

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Falcons Select Peter Konz

With the 55th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Peter Konz, center out of Wisconsin.

Konz, at 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, was regarded as the best center in the draft. He also has the versatility to play guard. Likely, he’s the successor for current center Todd McClure, who will retire after this season. There is a chance Konz will be the starter at right guard this season, however.

Although his durability concerns are probably what caused him to drop a bit, the Falcons could potentially go from one mainstay at center to another without skipping a beat.

Konz wasn’t a sexy pick, but he was certainly an important pick.

Also of note: former Falcons tight end Alge Crumper announced the selection.

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Falcons Trade For Cornerback Asante Samuel

And there is this year’s offseason splash for the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons have completed a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, sending a SEVENTH-ROUNDER in exchange for cornerback Asante Samuel. The hang-up on the trade was reworking Samuel’s contract. The Falcons did finally so, agreeing with Samuel to a three-year, $18.5 million deal. Before, Samuel was scheduled to make $9.9 million this season and $11.4 million in 2013. In other words, Samuel took a pretty significant pay cut to come to Atlanta.

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Brent Grimes Has Signed Franchise Tender

After the Falcons placed the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes in March, Ben Dogra, Grimes’ agent, said there were no plans to sign the tender. That has changed, apparently, since Grimes has officially signed the tender and is scheduled to make $10.281 million this upcoming season.

This news comes on the heels of the Asante Samuel trade talk. Grimes signing his tender may make the trade for Samuel a near-reality. The Falcons could possibly have a long-term deal in place for Grimes.

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Asante Samuel a Falcon?

According to both Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter, the Falcons are involved in trade discussions with the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Asante Samuel.

With the Falcons’ limited cap space and Samuel’s $10 million cap number, I’m not too sure how this would work. Does it mean the Falcons are looking to trade Brent Grimes after slapping him with the franchise tag? That wouldn’t make much sense, going from a 29-year-old cornerback to a 31-year-old cornerback. I also doubt it means they’re looking to replace Dunta Robinson, especially after Robinson restructured his deal. Not only that, but the Falcons wouldn’t gain any cap relief by cutting him.

Both Robinson and Samuel would be expensive nickelbacks, but there’s no doubt the Falcons would have a talented trio of cornerbacks.

We’ll see what happens.

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Defensive Tackle Aubrayo Franklin Visits Falcons

Aubrayo Franklin’s visit with the Falcons took place today.

If the Falcons were to sign Franklin, it would show the Falcons are serious about running a bit of the 3-4 this upcoming season. Also, Franklin would be reunited with Mike Nolan from their days together in San Francisco.

Franklin was considered one of the best run-stuffing 3-4 defensive tackles in the league when he was with the 49ers. He spent last year with the New Orleans Saints.

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Falcons Reject HBO’s Hard Knocks Offer

I’m pleased. In an earlier post, I outlined why the Falcons shouldn’t accept the offer to be on Hard Knocks.

Owner Arthur Blank, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, and head coach Mike Smith agreed football is this offseason’s focus.

The team confirmed the decision on Saturday.

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The Quest to Find Help For John Abraham

Since the Falcons traded for defensive end John Abraham in 2006, he’s pretty much been the only threat on the Falcons’ defensive line. When the trade was made, the idea was to pair Abraham with Patrick Kerney, the Falcons’ defensive end on the left side at the time. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as intended.

In Abraham’s first game as a Falcon, he wreaked havoc on the Carolina Panthers. However, he suffered a groin injury with less than two minutes to go in the game. Kerney was injured on the Falcons’ first defensive play. Abraham ended up missing three games before returning to face the New York Giants in Week 6. He went down again and missed the next five games. Kerney was able to return after going down against the Panthers, but suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 10 against the Cleveland Browns.

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