Dave's doing a slightly different take on this subject today, but I have opinions, and I'm going to express them! [insert visual aid showing Dave beating me a club]
As you all know, the Falcons have several free agents this off-season. Realistically, the players they'd consider re-signing are Chase Coffman, Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters, Peria Jerry, Mike Johnson, and Joe Hawley. I don't see them pursuing Jeremy Trueblood, Sean Locklear, Omar Gaither and Dominique Franks.
Granted, I'm not in the Falcons' war room, but I can see them passing on 3 of the above-listed 6 potential re-signees. That said, apparently much of who they bring back depends on what they see in the draft pool. Thomas Dimitroff's comments today basically mirrored that sentiment.
"We have not made any decision as of yet [... ] [a]gain, we're still in the recalibration mode right now. Coming here and leaving the combine having viewed the next class will give us much more of an idea of where we're going with our moves."
It just makes sense to Dimitroff. Free agency won't kick off until March 11th, and in the interim, the Falcons have to consider what else is out there. At best, they bring back 2 of Babineaux, Peters, and Jerry. They'd be foolish to let Peters walk, Dimitroff knows that, but paying for Babineaux's last professional contract could be cost prohibitive. In other words, they have to consider cheaper (read: rookie) options. They're apparently taking a hard look at tight ends as well, which may make Coffman the odd man out. But they're doing this now?
It's not a complicated concept. Dimitroff and his merry band of scouts didn't walk into the combine this week wondering what's out there. Their draft board is substantially complete, I'd imagine. I'd sincerely hope that the heady Dimitroff isn't the sort of GM that freaks out over a combine workout, ignoring game film completely.
I just don't see this being about a need to evaluate talent. The Falcons have a history of letting their free agents assess market value, then bringing them back at a discount (I'm looking at you Jason Snelling). They like to play free agency chicken.
Look, none of the Falcons' free agents are taking this personally, because it's a business, and they know that. For Trueblood, Locklear, Gaither, and Franks, the writing is already on the wall. Their agents are already trying to find them new homes. A lot can and will happen in the next 30 days, but the first step isn't necessarily getting through the combine.
I may be in the minority here, but I'd like to see the Falcons act now on a couple contracts. I'd like to see them be proactive, putting their figurative cards on the table. All that said, I'm just a blogger, not a GM, pro scout, or even a journalist. What do I know?