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A sponsored post immediately after the draft, you say? Yes, but it's a pertinent one.
With the selection of cornerback Dominique Franks, it's worth re-visiting one of the biggest moves of the Atlanta Falcons' off-season. I am, of course, referring to:
Game Changing Move #1: Free Agent Signing of Cornerback Dunta Robinson
With all the love going around for our youngest cornerbacks and the selection of Franks, it's easy to forget that that Dunta might be our most critical piece in 2010.
The Robinson signing was a frequently discussed move earlier in the off-season, and it's not clear whether his largish contract makes sense given his declining production over the last few seasons. However, the Falcons are surrounding him with talent on defense and he's out of Houston, where he was an unhappy bear.
More importantly, his signing gives the Falcons the hope that he'll turn into a top-flight cornerback once again, and the all-important perception that we have one. If that forces a few balls thrown by a hesitant quarterback away from his side of the field and toward the grabby hands of Brent Grimes and Chris Owens, it will be worth at least a chunk of the money the team is ponying up for him. And if he returns to form? Well, we got ourselves a secondary!
Frankly, whether you agree with it or not, you have to agree it has a substantial effect on the fortunes of the Falcons in the years ahead. If he's successful, we'll have one of the deeper cornerbacking corps in the league. If he's a bust, we'll have to hope our young guys develop very quickly and get rid of him. With a team that still doesn't have the league's finest pass rush, his fortunes will go a long way toward determining what kind of pass defense we have.
And that, friends, is why this was a game-changing move.