For much of the year, the focus has been on how well the Falcons have made their present situation a sunny one. On Tuesday, they took a step toward securing that future by locking up a couple members of the team.
In my mind, both of these moves are solid without being slam dunks. Michael Jenkins is a fundamentally sound wide receiver who blocks very well and has improved significantly as a route runner over the past couple of years. He's also only managed more than 50 catches once in his five years with the team and hasn't been quite the red zone target it was hoped he would be when he was selected in the first round. In short, Jenkins is the very definition of a solid wide receiver.
A four year committment and $20 million may end up being a bit much, particularly if Harry Douglas turns out to be a little more than that. Still, there's no denying that's he been a good fit for this particular team.
Jonathan Babineaux for five years (and ??? money) seems to make sense on the surface, and it's becoming clear that the Falcons want to lock guys up for a long while. Babineaux is another solid player who can start for the team and is solid against the run while not being a total slouch against the pass. The team really needs a better pass rush, and Babineaux isn't suddenly going to sprout a quarterback killing rocket on his back.
Given (again) his versatility as a guy who can play a little defensive end if needed, Babineaux will likely be around for close to the life of his contract as at least a backup. If the financial terms are reasonable, keeping around a talented defensive lineman rarely ends up hurting you. It's a smart move.
You can probably tell that I'm happy but not excited with these moves. What are your thoughts?