Tag Archives: vince manuwai

Falcons Release Guard Manuwai

The Falcons have released guard Vince Manuwai.

After sitting out the entire 2011-12 football season with an injury, Manuwai signed with the Falcons in March. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He started 105 of the 111 games he played in.

It looks as though rookie Peter Konz is definitely the favorite to win the right guard position.

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All Quiet on the Falcon Front

The Atlanta Falcons have been extremely quiet this free agency period. They have signed guard Vince Manuwai and middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, respectively. In addition to these signings, they have brought back rotational defensive end Kroy Biermann, starting free safety Thomas DeCoud, slot receiver Harry Douglas, backup quarterback Chris Redman, backup running back Jason Snelling, and rotational defensive tackle Vance Walker.

They put the franchise tag on Brent Grimes (which he has no plans to sign). Backup tight end Michael Palmer and backup running back Antone Smith were also signed.

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Disheartening News

The Falcons are $5.7 million under the cap.  That’s not nearly enough room to sign Mario Williams. We’ll see what happens once free agency starts tomorrow at 4 pm EST.

With so little space available, it also means the Falcons won’t be able to snag Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks.  That notion, along with an interview by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter with newly signed Vince Manuwai, points heavily to Manuwai being the Falcons’ new starting right guard.  Let’s hope Manuwai can return to form despite being out of football the past year.

EDIT:  Well, looks like you can add $1.6 million to that cap number.  The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins both lose out on cap space for illegally front-loading contracts in the 2010 uncapped year.  That money is divided up among 28 teams – minus the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders.

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Offseason Needs

Defensive End – The Falcons won’t give in to John Abraham’s demands to be paid as an elite defensive end.  Abraham will be 34 years old at the start of the 2012 season.  At this point in his career, he’s better suited as a pass rush specialist; the elite defensive ends in the league are capable of playing both the pass and the run well.  Also working in Abraham’s favor is the fact he was on a snap count for the regular season.

Many analysts think the Falcons will pursue Mario Williams.  Jason La Canfora expects the Falcons to make a “strong play” for Williams.  Williams would certainly fit the bill well as the new right defensive end for the Falcons.

Ray Edwards is expected to be back at full health for this upcoming season.  We’ll see how he performs.

Kroy Biermann was re-signed and will provide solid depth as usual.

Tight End – Tony Gonzalez has gone on record to say this will be his last year.  It will be difficult to find a tight end who can come close to matching the Hall of Famer’s production.  The Falcons re-signed Michael Palmer, and although they like him, he’s not the answer.  Look for the Falcons to find a successor to Gonzalez in the Draft.

Left Tackle – Will Svitek was serviceable in taking over for Sam Baker, but the Falcons need an upper echelon left tackle to protect Matt Ryan.  Also notable (veering on the side of disturbing, actually) is the vote of confidence Baker received from head coach Mike Smith.  I can’t help but to think this is just Smith being classy.  With the $2.6 million the Falcons can save by cutting Baker, there’s no way he’s on the team this upcoming season.  Marcus McNeil is a speculated target for the Falcons.

Right Guard – Who knew losing their meanest, nastiest lineman would result in the protection issues the Falcons experienced throughout the season?  Harvey Dahl’s departure was huge; the falcons thought the lineman they had drafted – Garrett Reynolds, Mike Johnson, and Joe Hawley – would be able to step right in and be competent.  Reynolds and Johnson were set for a training camp battle, but Johnson was injured and Reynolds was given the reigns.  Reynolds struggled mightily, and the position proved to be a revolving door.  Hawley was inserted in and struggled.  Even Sam Baker was inserted in at one point.  He immediately gave up a safety.

The Falcons did sign Vince Manuwai.  If Manuwai can return to form, it would be a great signing. However, this has to be nothing more than a depth signing.

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