After what has seemed like eternity, our beloved Comrade has finally addressed the Falcons' post-season plans. In an article with the AJC (well worth a full read), Dimitroff reinforced his administration's dedication to a calm, disciplined, and value-oriented approach to personnel matters.
Follow the jump for a breakdown of the basics.
First off the Labor uncertainties:
"Obviously the CBA situation is on everyone's mind," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "Our staff here has always been and will continue to [operate] business as usual. That's the only way that we can approach things. There are some very intelligent people working on both sides of the ball to try to get [the labor situation] taken care of."
Possibility of big ticket FA signings:
"We are approaching free agency like it will be there, and that's how we are rating the potential free agents," Dimitroff said. "We'll be ready when the time comes to make those decisions."
Dealing with the Falcons' own potential Free Agents:
"We have always been very cognizant of the fact that we will be faced with some tough and challenging decisions," Dimitroff said....
"We knew all along that we were going to face some tough decisions along our offensive line, and we have planned for the possibility of losing people along our offensive line to free agency," Dimitroff said.
"We are very mindful of that. Hopefully, we can get them re-signed, but in the event that doesn't happen exactly the way that we may project, we may have to get ready to move forward."
Dimitroff obviously expecting for their to be a Free Agency of some sort and is prepared to utilize it to fill any position needs we have. I'm taking this as a sign that owner Author Blank isn't using the labor unrest as an excuse to costs and have the team limp into next season without enough quality talent. Definently good news.
As for our own potential Free Agents, Dimitroff obviously would be glad to get them back at the right price. But he clearly has a set budget to be spent on certain units (like the O-line) and he isn't willing to break the bank just keep the roster the same. This is much less of a worry as Dimitroff has aparrently seen this issue coming for several seasons and is prepared to replace anyone we might lose with a younger (and much cheaper) alternative.
Again, I think this reinforces the belief that Smith and Dimitroff are committed to achieving long term success for this franchise by maximizing the value we get with each player. While we may lose a talented and popular player (like Harvey Dahl) to a team willing to over pay for his services, we will be in a position use the money we saved to better the entire team. I'd say this is good news for all of us.