Those of you who said there was no way the Falcons would consider plunking down $10 million for an offensive lineman via the franchise tag were soothsayers. I bow in the face of your future vision, seers!
This latest report comes from NFL.com's Jason LaCanfora, dogged reporter and noted Saints fan, who tells us that the Falcons have elected not to use the franchise tag. It was an open question with three offensive linemen facing free agency, but apparently the team thinks those price tags are too steep.
Instead, the Falcons will prioritize Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock and try to come up with a way to lock up as many as they can for the long haul. In my mind, Clabo and Blalock still need to be the priority. Clabo has done great work at right tackle and Blalock is severely underrated by fans and analysts alike. As good as Dahl is, Mike Johnson can replace him, and potentially run into a few less rage-filled penalties per season.
I'm fine with the decision. With faith in the front office comes a certain expectation that they'll do the right thing, and the right thing in this case is definitely locking up key pieces of the offensive line to multi-year deals. If all three walk, it might be time to panic, but I seriously doubt that will happen.