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Falcons Courting Free Agents L.J. Smith, Daniel Loper

BREAKING UPDATE: D. Orlando says Loper has re-scheduled his Falcon visit to an unspecified date.

Free agency is starting up in Atlanta, albeit with a lot of clanks and thunks.

The ever-informative D. Orlando Ledbetter over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us that L.J. Smith's courtship with the Dirty Birds went pretty darn well, but he plays it cool when our intrepid reporter asks him if a contract is imminent:

When asked if they were working out a deal, Mackler said, “Call me tomorrow and I’ll let you know what’s going on.”

Oh, you do go on!

I've made peace with an L.J. Smith signing at this point. As I said just yesterday, if he comes for a low enough cost, he's worth the dice roll and just might provide the pass-catching presence we've been missing. You may have noticed that I can talk myself into things relatively easily, too.

The most interesting piece of the article has nothing to do with L.J. Smith, though. Instead, it comes in the brief mention of free agent offensive tackle Daniel Loper, who could well be the most underrated signing of the off-season if Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith can get their paws on him. At 6'6" and 320 pounds, he has the size to stick at tackle but can also play guard, and he's only 27 years old. He's been used as a backup in Tennessee, but I could see him actually starting at right tackle and holding his own there.

If this team could fill the hole left by Todd Weiner's retirement, potentially upgrade tight end and perhaps get a little veteran leadership at linebacker or defensive end, it'll be a pretty nice start to replacing some guys who really helped make us successful last year. It also helps to remember that nobody--not even me!--is bigger than the team.

Your thoughts on Smith & Loper?