Kevin C. Cox
Your daily collection of Falcons and NFL news and notes from around the Web.
Peters and Samuel to Get Raises
Due to performance-based incentives in their contracts, DT Corey Peters and CB Asante Samuel will receive higher base salaries next season. Peters' pay will jump from $630,000 to $1.323 million; Samuels' pay will go from $3 million to $3.2 million. Given the way these two played down the stretch, I'd say these raises are warranted.
Michael Turner a Prime Candidate for Release
Former Pro-Bowler Michael Turner had easily his worst season as a Falcon this year, and his recent downturn could spell the end of his career in Atlanta. The former San Diego Charger is scheduled to make $6.9 million in 2013—a salary he wouldn't be able to live up to without a miraculous rejuvenation.
While Turner has done a lot for the Falcons and been one of the team's most productive backs in history, it appears as if it's time to turn the page and move on without him.
Sure, our city gave up pretty quickly on the Thrashers—which some of us still haven't gotten over—but the Falcons are far too important to the city (both from an economic and community standpoint) to let go. And with Arthur Blank at the helm, there's absolutely no way the franchise gives up on Atlanta.
Can Mike Smith Make Needed Changes?
We've seen Coach Mike Smith rescue the Falcons from the depths of mediocrity. We've seen him give this organization its first back-to-back winning seasons ever. We've even seen him win a playoff game. But is he the guy who's going to lead Atlanta to its first Super Bowl?
While Smith took home the Sporting News Coach of the Year Award—and deservedly so—he's going to have to take the next step as a coach—in game-day non-game-day situations—to one day hoist the Lombardi Trophy.