If you've wondered just what the hell Thomas Dimitroff and the front office have been up to this off-season, his recent comments on an NFL.com podcast should shed a little light on the subject.
Hat tip to Jay Adams at the mothership for this one. Let's start this off with a relevant quote:
"I was interested to see how the market would pan out at a couple of positions," Dimitroff told Smith and Brooks, "and it’s kind of played out how I expected this year."
Now, what positions could he possibly be talking about? The Falcons have been widely linked to defensive ends and offensive linemen, and there's been a flurry of signings and free agent visits at those positions. The truly big names are already off the market, but there's still quality at center (Samson Satele, Scott Wells, Todd McClure, Jamaal Jackson), tackle (Demetrius Bell, Marcus McNeill), and defensive end (Mark Anderson, Andre Carter, John Abraham). The team is apparently disinterested in making a huge splash.
Apologies for the longer quote—and go read the full post so that nobody at Flowery Branch hunts me down—but this is also interesting. Once again, the Comrade is speaking here:
"Every year since we’ve been here, we’ve taken a free agent. That’s helped us go into the draft. The first year, as you know, it was Michael Turner. The second year, we considered the Tony Gonzalez trade to be a free agent move. The year after that it was Dunta Robinson and the year after that, last year, it was Ray Edwards," he said. "Again, (the free agency period) really allows a team to be aggressive enough to get someone in place so that they don’t have to just use the draft to build, and for us, as you know, we do not have a first-round pick this year or a fourth-round (pick), so free agency is going to be important. Does it mean, Bucky, that we need to be very aggressive at the beginning of free agency? It means we have to have a really good feel of what free agency may offer us throughout weeks to come."
As anticipated, the Falcons have gone in with a plan. We may not love that plan, but it's slightly more reassuring to know they have one than to imagine them running around panicked and failing to line up any visits with free agents. For some of you, I suspect it's very slightly. The Falcons are going to take this extremely methodically, either way, which is going to lead to some excruciatingly slow news cycles over the next month.