Team Holding to Word During Free Agency

Team Holding to Word During Free Agency

Jay Adams

Published March 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

After a 24-2 loss to the New York Giants in the wild card round of the NFC Playoffs in January, the Falcons’ big three — owner & chairman Arthur Blank, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith — held a season-ending press conference to discuss the organization’s next steps.

With the free agency period still less than 24 hours old and the moves around the rest of the league coming fast and furious, the Falcons are holding true to the points made in that press conference.

“We have 17 free agents this year that we need to look at. We have a lot of work to do with our analyzation and scrutiny of our team, as well,” Dimitroff said during the January press conference. “There’s a foundation here in place. I’m not suggesting at all that we’re going to blow anything up.”

The Falcons have been aggressive in keeping their own recently, signing safety Thomas DeCoud, tight end Michael Palmer, running back Antone Smith, running back Jason Snelling and defensive end Kroy Biermann and agreeing to terms with backup quarterback Chris Redman and wide receiver Harry Douglas. In that same press conference, Dimitroff said he thought “seven or eight” would be a realistic guess as to how many of the Falcons’ 17 free agents the team would be able to keep.

Adding to that, however, are the signings of free agent guard Vince Manuwai and free agent linebacker Lofa Tatupu, both of whom can make a big impact with the team. Those two make nine new contracts in the past week the Falcons have doled out, but as they mentioned in January, they won’t be eager to just hand out anything.

“We’ll continue to, again, analyze this roster. There are no… sacred cows. No question about it. I don’t care where we drafted them or how we’ve acquired them in free agency,” Dimitroff said back in January, as Blank added: “There might be some sacrificial cows, but no sacred cows”

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