Offseason Overview: Falcons Facing a Long Overhaul

Turner a big key to the Falcons

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• PK Morten Andersen is a reliable geriatric kicker that still has some leg left but the signing of Jason Elam takes him out of the picture.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• FS Erik Coleman: UFA Jets; $10M/4 yrs, $2.5M guaranteed.

• K Jason Elam: UFA Broncos; $9M/4 yrs, $3.3M SB.

• DE Simon Fraser: Not tendered as RFA by Browns; terms unknown.

• TE Ben Hartsock: UFA Titans; $9M/4 yrs, $2.5M guaranteed.

• CB Von Hutchins: UFA Texans; $9M/4 yrs, $2.5M.

• FB Corey McIntyre: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

• DT Rashad Moore: Not tendered as RFA by Patriots; terms unknown.

• DT Kindal Moorehead: UFA Panthers; terms unknown.

• C Alex Stepanovich: UFA Bengals; terms unknown.

• RB Michael Turner: UFA Chargers; $34.5M/6 yrs, $15M guaranteed.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• DT Tim Anderson: UFA; terms unknown.

• LB Michael Boley: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.

• OL Tyson Clabo: ERFA; terms unknown.

• DE Chauncey Davis: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

• QB Joey Harrington: FA, had been released by Falcons; $1M/1 yr, $300,000 SB.

• P Michael Koenen: RFA’ $1.47M/1 yr.

• QB Chris Redman: UFA; $4M/2 yrs, $2.75M SB.

• NT Montavious Stanley: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• TE Courtney Anderson: UFA Bills; terms unknown.

• TE Dwayne Blakley: UFA Titans; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DT Rod Coleman (released).

• S Chris Crocker: UFA Dolphins; 1.15M/1 yr, $300,000 SB.

• TE Alge Crumpler (released).

• RB Warrick Dunn (released).

• WR Jamin Elliott (released).

• OT Wayne Gandy (released).

• CB DeAngelo Hall (traded Raiders).

• QB Byron Leftwich (released).

• S Omare Lowe: UFA Seahawks; $605,000/1 yr.

• CB Lewis Sanders (released).

• LB Marcus Wilkins (released).

• OLB Demorrio Williams: UFA Chiefs; $16M/5 yrs, $5.5M guaranteed.

Last season everything that could have went wrong for the Atlanta Falcons – did. The team was ravaged by bad luck both on and off the field, starting with the hiring of Bobby Petrino, who jumped ship to go back to the college ranks 13 games into the season. The Michael Vick situation didn’t help matters, leaving the team with little to work with at QB. They also had disputes with players like DeAngelo Hall (traded in the offseason to the Raiders) and an impulse release of DT Grady Jackson. Bottom line – time to turn the page in Atlanta. The team had a rather large roster turnover through free agency and the draft, picking up 10 players in free agency, re-signing 8 and drafting 11 players. They released or lost 14 players so far this offseason.

The new look Falcons will be built around two offensive players – RB Michael Turner, who comes to them from the Chargers complete with a 6-year, $34.5 million dollar deal, and QB Matt Ryan, who was the third overall pick in the draft. You can bet that owner Arthur Blank will basically write a blank check to get Ryan in on time to avoid any negative vibes early in training camp. While there’s no doubt that Ryan will have growing pains, having Turner will help the running game and offense. The defense will have to play better in 2008, as last year they allowed 25.9 points per game, giving up 127.1 yards per game on the ground. This unit has a long way to go. With a new hard-nosed coach in Mike Smith, GM in Thomas Dimitroff, and a major overhaul in the roster, don’t count on the Falcons to be much better than their 4-12 mark from last year, but they do appear to be headed in the right direction.

Offseason Grade to Date: B


Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to NFL Gridiron Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to del.icio.us  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

Comments are closed.