The Falcons opened up OTAs today. After the cut, you’ll find several tweets from the Atlanta Falcons Twitter account and a few videos from the Falcons’ first OTA session.
The NFL owners met today in Atlanta to modify a few rules.
Under the current rule, if a player was placed on injured reserve, his season was over. Now, a player can rejoin his team after spending eight weeks on injured reserve. However, that player has to be on the 53-man roster after the last preseason roster cuts. After six weeks, the player can return to practice with the team, and after eight weeks the player is eligible to play in games. Only one player per team is able to take advantage of this rule change, and he is dubbed the “marquee player.”
Also, the NFL owners voted to move the trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8.
Both rule modifications are great for the league. It is better to allow a player to come back from injured reserve rather than ending his season. It also prevents teams from being completely handicapped after an important player goes down to injury. Moving the trade deadline back a couple of weeks gives teams more flexibility.
The last rule change is likely to draw the ire of many players in the league: beginning in 2013, players are required to wear thigh and knee pads. With the focus on player safety, this rule makes sense. However, there will undoubtedly be fierce opposition to this rule change.
The Falcons have signed offensive tackle Lamar Holmes. He was the Falcons’ third-round pick from Southern Mississippi in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Five of the six rookies from the 2012 rookie class been signed; only fifth-round pick defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi remains unsigned.
Konz, formerly of Wisconsin, was selected in the second round (55th overall). Ewing, also from Wisconson, was drafted to replace recently released Ovie Mughelli. Ewing was selected in the fifth round (157th overall). Mitchell was the Falcons’ sixth round draft pick (192nd overall). He played college football at Mississippi State. Lastly, Robertson was the Falcons’ final pick in the seventh round (249th overall). Last season, Robertson was a defensive tackle for South Carolina.
Tackle Lamar Holmes of Southern Mississippi and defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi of Troy remain unsigned.
The Falcons’ third round pick – tackle Lamar Holmes – has what has been dubbed a minor left foot injury. As a result, Holmes will be unable to take part in the team’s rookie minicamp.
Although Holmes is wearing a walking boot, I doubt head coach Mike Smith is downplaying the severity of the injury. It’s ultimately just a precautionary measure.
The Atlanta Falcons have announced they have released fullback Ovie Mughelli. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I knew the drafting of Bradie Ewing in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft was the writing on the wall for Mughelli.
Furthermore, Mughelli had a cap number of $3 million for this season after signing a six-year, $18 million deal in 2007 with then head coach Bobby Petrino at the helm. Any way you look at it, that number is way too high for a fullback. Add to the fact Mughelli suffered a torn MCL at Detroit last season, and the move ultimately makes sense.
Mughelli will undoubtedly be missed. He made the Pro Bowl in 2010 for opening up holes for running back Michael Turner. After he was placed or injured reserve last season, the Falcons’ running game went noticeably downhill.
In any case, let the Ewing era begin.
After the Falcons traded for Asante Samuel, I speculated Dunta Robinson was the likely candidate to move inside to play nickelback since Brent Grimes and Samuel are better suited for the outside.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff confirmed Robinson is indeed moving inside while on SiriusXM’s Late Hits. Dimitroff also said Robinson wanted to move inside, as he did when he was with the Houston Texans.
Again, Robinson moving inside makes the most sense. He’s easily the most aggressive of the three cornerbacks, and he doesn’t mind coming in and putting his head down to play the run.
This should be a formidable secondary.
The NFL has finally handed down the punishment to the players involved in the Saints’ bounty program.
According to Adam Schefter, linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the season, defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove has been suspended for eight games, defensive end Will Smith has been suspended for four games, and linebacker Scott Fujita has been suspended for three games.
A full, extensive write-up of all the bounty program findings can be found here.
The Falcons were granted $3 million in salary-cap credits from money owed by Michael Vick to the franchise, according to Adam Schefter.
The Falcons have also signed a total of 22 undrafted free agents: TE Lamark Brown (Minnesota-Mankato), LB Rico Council (Tennessee State), QB Dominique Davis (East Carolina), S Chad Faulcon (Montclair), RB Robbie Frey (Kutztown), LB Max Gruder (Pittsburgh), T Bryce Harris (Fresno State), LB Jerrell Harris (Alabama), LS Josh Harris (Auburn), C Tyler Horn (Miami), WR Marcus Jackson (Lamar), DT Ray Kibble (Kansas State), G Phillip Manley (Toledo), CB Marty Markett (South Carolina), TE Adam Nissley (Central Florida), DE Louis Nzegwu (Wisconsin), WR Cody Pearcy (Huntingdon), DT Micanor Regis (Miami), WR James Rodgers (Oregon State), LB Pat Schiller (Northern Illinois), CB Peyton Thompson (San Jose St.) and P Dawson Zimmerman (Clemson).
Read a comprehensive write-up of the Falcons UDFAs by Jay Adams here.