Eric Weems And The Slot Receiver

It's just a throwaway line in D. Orlando Ledbetter's great article about Falcons' free agents, but it caught my attention.

DOL calls Eric Weems a valuable special teamer--which is still true, even after a dismal 2011 campaign--but he also writes that Weems could step up as the team's third receiver. That seems incredibly far-fetched.

Weems is a slippery player with good agility, but he's not an especially polished wide receiver. In five seasons with the Falcons, he's caught 24 passes for just 205 yards and two touchdowns. He's managed to get on the field on occasion as a weapon out of the slot and even outside, but sparingly. The team has never viewed him as anything more than a fifth receiver and special teamer, and this was not a wonderful year for Weems as a returner.

Will the Falcons keep Weems around? It's far from impossible. They like his versatility, and if they allow Harry Douglas to walk, there probably will be more snaps for him in 2012. But I can't see the team turning the slot over to a guy who has never been able to get consistent snaps at receiver through a five year career, not with an emphasis on explosiveness and offensive improvement.

What will happen at the slot? My best guess, at this point, is that the Falcons look into bringing Douglas back on a short-term, relatively cheap contract. If he balks--and I imagine that's a possibility--they'll start poking around outside the team.

What say you?

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