Remember the other day when I put together my free agent list? I didn't mention guys like Michael Palmer and Antone Smith because they were exclusive-rights free agents and I expected the Falcons to bring them back.
Both of these guys are useful offensive role players who can help out on special teams, and it's safe to assume they came cheap. As I said the other day, I'm a big fan of bringing back or signing players who cost relatively little and provide value, especially because the Falcons need to tie up the big bucks in playmakers at positions of need.
We'll start with Palmer. If the Falcons had a stronger backup, Palms of Fury would be a third-stringer, albeit a versatile one. He can catch a pass in a pinch (10 catches, 72 yards, one touchdown in 2011) and blocks reasonably well, though he's nothing special in either arena. With the ability to chip in on special teams and factor in one two tight-end packages, Palmer's worth keeping around.
Smith is a little more intriguing. The Falcons have played around with him returning kicks and punts in pre-season, and he could be an option at returner if the team elects to jettison Eric Weems this off-season. He also holds a little promise as a rusher and pass-catcher, though like Palmer he's unlikely to ever excel at either. His versatility means he'll probably make the active roster as a core special teamer, possible returner and third or fourth running back.
That's a long way of saying both of these signings are good and keep cheap, versatile players around. Do you agree?