The Falcons will likely be without the Predator next season
Tuesday March 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm EST, the NFL free agent shopping sprees and bidding wars can officially begin. Of course, at the top of many teams wish list is a franchise quarterback, and there just happens to be a 36 year old Super Bowl winning, MVP quarterback looking for work. Imagine that. The salary cap has been set at $120,600,000 and the Falcons are reported to be $5.7 million under the cap ($7.3 if we include the gift from the Cowboys and Redskins). That number includes Brent Grimes $10.6 million franchise tag but the Falcons can use that money until Grimes signs the tag or a contract with the Falcons (of course, then the Falcons would have to make some moves to get under the cap if they use that money).
Teams are going to be jockeying for cap room prior to the 4pm free agency kickoff. You will see guys possibly getting re-structured deals and some potentially big names getting released and unexpectedly being available. We've got some burning questions down below regarding our Falcons and the NFL and some links you might want to check out as we prepare for the blitz that will be Free Agency. Join us throughout the day to discuss those questions in the comment section below as well as anything regarding Free Agency, the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL as the 4 PM deadline approaches and once it hits. Let us know what you would like the Falcons to do and give us your take on the Falcons moves as well as any other key signings in the NFL once they are made.
The big questions that can begin to be answered for the Falcons are:
Will the portion of the money that Atlanta gets from Dallas and Washington's cap penalty put us back in the mix for those big names?
With the release of OT Eric Winston by the Texans, do the Falcons look to him for possible strengthening of the offensive line?
Does Atlanta re-sign veteran DE John Abraham? (as may be speculated from his unexpected visit to Flowery Branch on Monday)
What possible contracts can be restructed to free up even more cap space for the Falcons?
Who will the Falcons look to release before training camp even begins, and what will those do to help clear cap space?
Now in the big NFL picture, there are some stories that everyone is following:
Who wins the Peyton Manning sweepstakes?
How does the recent hit on the salary caps by the NFL affect Dallas and Washington and their ability to sign free agents and potential draft choices? (Washington has been penalized $31 million in cap space this year)
If Denver doesn't land Manning, is a possible trade of Tim Tebow still on the table?
Does Randy Moss get signed by the Saints or the 49ers?
UPDATE: The 49ers have signed Randy Moss
With commissioner Roger Goodell meeting with Saints' owner Tom Benson and coach Sean Payton this week, will part of the penalties handed down affect the Saints cap?
UPDATE: The Saints Brass requested the meeting with Goodell. The league has set no timetable for concluding the investigation.
What big free agent blunder will the Oakland Raiders make this year?
All these questions, and many more, are sure to remain in some sort of clouded mess after 4pm on Tuesday...but it's fun to speculate anyway.
UPDATE: Ledbetter of the AJC was told by the agent of Harry Douglas that earlier reports of a contract signing being imminent to be untrue. Looking like Atlanta will not be signing Douglas prior to free agency. -@mFalcons5
NFC SOUTH UPDATE: The Saints have signed WR Marques Colston to a 5-yr $40 million deal.
SUPER MARIO UPDATE: Mario Williams will be visiting the Buffalo Bills tonight. Bills will be looking to make Mario the highest paid defensive player in the league.
NFC SOUTH UPDATE (8:25 PM): WR Vincent Jackson signs (that's signs, not sings, although it would be awesome if he did sing with Tampa Bay) with Tampa Bay.
FALCONS UPDATE (8:25 PM): Harry Douglas expected to choose between Falcons and St Louis tonight. Curtis Lofton talks slowing down with Tampa Bay after he asks for $9 million per season.
FALCONS UPDATE (8:39 PM): Zach Klein of WSB cites "league source" saying WR Harry Douglas is close to returning to Falcons.
FALCONS UPDATE (8:50 PM): Harry Douglas tweeted out that he is returning to the Falcons.
FALCONS UPDATE (8:55 PM): Chris Redman resigns with Atlanta.
Free Agent Links of Note:
Hey Staff...Zach Klein from WSB read this article (and comments) and liked it a lot. High praise from a true pro! GritsBlitzBlog = Awesome team!
If we lose HD... we will most likley pick up Eddie Royal.. but I am HUGE believer in HD... Come on Blank cut the check!
@ColossalChicken Zach Klein reporting that league source says Harry is about to sign with Falcons but not quite official yet.
Some news coming down via Twitter from @bigoshow that Falcons are among the leaders for Miami DE Kendall Langford
to say im becoming frustrated is an understatement, it's looking like we're going to let everyone get the T-Bone and settle for the scraps.
One of the Tampa Bay beat writers (Stephen Holder) is reporting that Bucs and Vincent Jackson are close to getting a deal done.
Lots of Twitter reports that Lofton has signed with the Bucs. Haven't seen anything actually "official" yet.
Marshall to the Bears. Looks like Chicago may be gearing up to go after Mario Williams with their WR problem solved. This may suck.
@mFalcons5Nope I think Marshall has an 8 Mil cap hit this year and Jennings wanted a pay increase.
They might only ahve 8 Mil left in FA with guys to resign
We are now about 15 Minutes away, and Sam Baker still hasn't been cut. My mind is becoming continually boggled
I'm pretty upset that the "68 reasons to get excited about March Madness" link at the bottom of the page isn't working.
It would not surprise me at all to see the Falcons make zero signings outside of the organization today. Getting the feeling that $ and the feeling of wanting to stand pat are ruling the day in Atlanta.
@GaSportsCraze I don't know. I know Arthur wants to make changes. It's just if they can move money around to make those changes. Arthur has never been shy about going out and getting what the Falcons need.
@CFBZ It may be that Arthur is finally starting to realize that very rarely does the team that makes the big FA signing go on to win the SB.
Well, im going to hit the gym... ill be tuned into nfl radio so If Super Mario gets resigns... i warn everyone to stay away from the gym lol may get ugly
@ColossalChicken Don't worry. I'm on my couch for the remainder of the day give or take a few minutes.
.Eric Winston, lawrence vickers, matt leinart. Chris Meyers and Mike Brisiel are both 30 mins away from free agency..
If yall (in my southern tone) have Sirius Radio... NFL Radio is a lifeline for fans... anyhow they just reported that Houston is OUT of the PM race... meaning all of this shifting around may be to resign Super Mario... i doubt they will cut those guys to sign somebody who didn't contribute to their team last season...
@CFBZ Rotoworld said that San Diego let him go because they think his condition is degenerative but he is completely healthy at this point. Short term contract would be good, imho. Talk is San Diego signed their center to go hard after Jared Gaither.
@CFBZ Thats ok...so did I in "Bird Droppings"...but I'm sure I shed quite a different light on it.
@GaSportsCraze Nice shot at Matt Stafford as well without mentioning him. I wouldn't mind Tebow....but he went to Florida.