Tough decisions and many questions. This is going to be a common theme for the Falcons throughout the remainder of the off season. Will Tony Gonzalez return? Do they draft a tight end in the first round in case he does not? Do they cut Turner? Who will replace him? Is Brent Grimes worth resigning? What about cutting Dunta Robinson to clear cap space? Is Sam Baker the answer at LT for the future?…I think you get the point.
In the midst of all these complex scenarios and hypothetical questions is the fact that the Falcons are not that far away from reaching the big dance. However, change throughout the roster is imminent. This is rather unsettling for many fans, including myself. Conventional wisdom says to sign the players that played the most important roles in get the team to the championship game. Here is what I would do if I were GM
1. They part ways with RB Michael Turner. In doing this The Falcons will sign a mid-tier free agent RB (Peyton Hillis, Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall). Also, the team will target an explosive RB in the second round, such as Andre Ellington og Clemson
2. They will sign LT Sam Baker to a long-term deal. Sam Baker, in my opinion, is a remarkable pass protector, a corner stone piece to the franchise and played very well this past season—which will help his leverage.
3. They cut CB’s Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes. This will clear up a significant amount of cap space that will be spent on bigger name free agents. One of those free agents, I think, could be CB Charles Woodson. This leaves Samuel, Woodson and the upstart Robert McClain as the teams group of CB’s. I think they will also target a prospect in the 3-4 rounds of the draft.
4. Tony Gonzalez returns. This will cost some money, but it is money the franchise will happily dish out. This will also allow the team to snag a pass-rusher with the first round pick, as opposed to a tight end.
5. Sign Dwight Freeny. I understand he is on the decline but he and Abraham would be a solid fit and could bridge the gap for a young DE prospect.
Those are my five predictions for the remainder of the off-season. Some other things to consider include choosing to re-sign SS William Moore, keeping Abraham, seeking a new slot receiver, what to do with veteran C Todd Mcclure.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Should be interesting to see how these scenarios play out.