Forgive me if you read this and the Falcons have pulled off last second negotiations for Domonique Foxworth or Keith Brooking. This post was written well before the midnight deadline due to necessity.
That said, some interesting signings listed in this story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The big ones in my mind are the two second-round tenders shipped over to Harvey Dahl and Tyson Clabo, who despite their notable flaws were solid and need to be kept around to give the offensive line depth and strength. I can't imagine anyone is going to give up a second rounder for either of them, so they're likely to both return as Falcons next season.
Following that, the Falcons locked up likely linebacker backup Coy Wire, likely backup tight end Justin Peelle and likely low defensive tackle on the totem pole Jason Jefferson. Ben Wilkerson re-signed, giving us a decent backup center, and Brian Finneran re-structured his contract to stay with the Falcons for at least one more year. I don't really expect B-Finn to get any higher on the depth chart than he did last year, and if the Falcons draft a new guy or Laurent Robinson is healthy, he may be the last guy on the field.
Still, all of these moves show an understanding of the need to keep solid guys around. Dahl and Clabo are by a wide margin the biggest impact guys here and at least one of them may not start next year, so you can see that Comrade Dimitroff isn't huge on splash.
That's the good news. The bad news is that Chauncey Davis, Michael Boley, Domonique Foxworth and Keith Brooking all look as though they're going to hit the market as of 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Brooking and Boley seem likely to go on their way--isn't it unbelievable how far Boley's value fell in a single season--but Davis and Foxworth are very worrying. We need somebody to compete with Jamaal Anderson and provide depth at defensive end, and Davis is the very definition of solid. Foxworth was probably our best corner last year and it's very puzzling that the team would let him hit the open market with the amount of cap space we have. I believe in Chevis Jackson & Friends, but I think our secondary needs to be addressed after the pass rush. Maybe they'll get him before the deadline's up or talk him into coming back, but it wouldn't be an easy loss to swallow.
If Dimitroff sticks to his guns and doesn't throw a ton of money out in the free agent market, this is going to have to be a truly amazing draft to improve the Falcon defense over last year. I have faith in our guys, though, so for now I guess I'd better shut my mouth and watch this unfold.
What do you guys think?