Free agency is a fun time where teams cut ties with once franchise players and welcome new players who are usually expected to change a franchise around. Nonetheless, bringing in a big time player brings excitement and confidence to an organization and the Falcons and their fan base need that more than ever right now.
Asante Samuel: Asante Smauel was extremely disappointing this year for the Falcons. He got benched during the season and there is really no need of keeping him. Especially since Atlanta has found 2 quality starters in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.
Stephen Nicholas: The Falcons hit the jackpot in undrafted free agents signings last seasons when they picked Joplu Bartu and Paul Worrilow who eventually became starters (and pretty darn good starters at that). In getting both both Bartu and Worrilow that caused Nicholas to get buried in the depth chart. While Nicholas led the Falcons in tackles lat season, he really doesn't need to be a starter for Atlanta and the Falcons could go on without him.
Jeremy Trueblood: He didn't play good. And I'll leave it at that
Peria Jerry: Jerry has been a bust. The Falcons need to head elsewhere.
Mike Johnson: Johnson is getting old. The only way I see the Falcons keeping him is for depth concerns
Jonathan Babineaux: Babs is one of my favorite all around players on the Falcons roster. He is getting old but he is still one of the most productive members on the DL and could be used for veteran leadership.
Corey Peters: Peters was the one bright spot on the Falcons DL. HUGE priority bringing him back
Joe Hawley: Pretty soild starter at center this season. Deserves to be brought back
Robert McClain: Solid Nickel corner. Would be a good decision to bring him back.
Roddy White: While Roddy isn't the same player he was 3 or 4 years ago he is still one of the top targets on the Falcons roster. He said he wants to be a Falcon for life. And he deserves to be one.
Free Agency Signings
Going into free agency the Falcons biggest needs are at the offensive/defensive and tight end. Luckily for the Falcons they have a pretty good amount of quality players in those positions. Here is the top 5 players that the Falcons could bring in:
1: Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: What a signing this could be. Jimmy Graham is the top tight end in the NFL and it is not even close. Week in and week out there might not be a more dominate player on the offensive side the ball than Jimmy Graham. The Falcons have a chance, but it is highly unlikely that Graham would want to leave New Orleans (especially to go to Atlanta)
2: Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals: Here is a more realistic signing. Michael Johnson had 11.5 sacks last season for the Bengals, but had an under performing 3.5 sacks this season, but Johnson was still ranked as the 4th ranked 4-3 defensive end according to Pro Football Focus. The Falcons could use someone like Johnson on their DL, especially since Johnson is only 26 and still hasn't touched his prime yet.
3: Brandon Albert, OT, Kansas City Cheifs: Albert was one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL this season and even had to face a little adversity, with Eric Fisher being selected 1st overall last season. Albert might be looking for a new landing spot if the Cheifs decide they want to move Fisher to the left side and Atlanta would welcome him with open arms if he does.
4. Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle Seahawks: Bennett has been a productive DE for Seattle this year despite only playing a pass rushing specialist role in the deep Seahawks roster. Bennett has had 17.5 sacks over the past 2 years and at 28 is still fairly young.
5. Jairus Byrd, FS, Buffalo Bills: The Falcons safety tandem was very good last season with Thomas DeCoud being a ball hawk and William Moore being the prototypical hard hitting strong safety. This year, however, Moore played pretty good and DeCoud played awful. Byrd is the top safety in the NFL when healthy and likely wants to leave Buffalo. And facing quarterbacks such as Cam Newton and Drew Brees twice a year having one of the best safeties in the NFL helps.