Clabo, who is 29 years old as I write this, has been the team's starting right tackle for the last three seasons. He's played and started every single game over that span, and in the process has endeared himself to Mike Smith and the coaching staff by generally being a big ol' nasty tackle. He also punched his first Pro Bowl ticket in 2010.
Confronted with three starters who are all free agents at exactly the same time, the Falcons knew they would have to make some tough choices along the offensive line. Apparently, they weren't quite willing to trust the right edge to Garrett Reynolds, Jose Valdez or whatever free agent they could pluck off the vine. So if all goes well, the job will come back to Clabo, who will likely get a four or five year deal and be paid handsomely for that privilege.
I went back and forth on Clabo all off-season, but I'll be glad if he comes back. He's been stone solid outside for the bulk of the last three seasons, clearly wants to be in Atlanta and will keep Matt Ryan's bookends intact. He's a damn fine tackle, and 2010 likely won't be his last Pro Bowl.
I do wonder what happens with Justin Blalock and Harvey Dahl from here. My preference is to sign Blalock, but the much beloved anonymous sources around the team indicate that they're looking to lock up Dahl. There's virtually no way the team gets all three guys, so whichever guard walks will probably be replaced by either Mike Johnson or rookie and former president Andrew Jackson.
Either way, I'll be happy to welcome Clabo back into the fold. Will you?