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Could The Falcons Be Bypassing Free Agent Pass Rushers?

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What?

That simple, incredulous word sums up my reaction to the latest Falcons-centric piece from NFL.com. There's a couple tidbits in there that we're going to explore in the days ahead, but today's post concerns one Jamaal Anderson.

According to NFL.com, the Falcons are not as interested in free agent pass rushers as we've been led to believe. That includes everyone from Ray Edwards to Charles Johnson:

Atlanta could use another pass rusher -- a fact not lost on team officials -- but there too free agency is seen as an imprecise and suspect remedy. There are few proven pass rushers on the market, prices are expected to be quite high, and those available like Ray Edwards and Charles Johnson have some question marks with them as well. There is no definite fix there, and the costs associated with striking out on a high-end free agent are significant.

Don't overlook the impact of the first-round trade with Cleveland. Dimitroff had long ago assessed the free-agent market, and I suspect he determined it would not carry value at positions of need. The club was looking for another explosive player, a potential difference-maker, and knew it would not come with its pick deep in the first round

 

After the jump, find out how Jamaal Anderson fits in here. 

I'm on record believing that Kroy Biermann is going to blow up in 2011, so I could live without an Edwards signing. But you have to have good options in your pocket, and Chauncey Davis, Anderson and Cliff Matthews might not quite be it.

Frankly, the suggestion near the end of the article--that Anderson could be "streamlined" and turned into a useful pass rushing end--stretches the bounds of credulity. I cannot believe for a second that the Falcons would bank that heavily on Anderson if they didn't know something we don't, and I can't imagine what they could possibly know about a guy with 4.5 career sacks. I really can't.

It may sound as though I'm being unduly harsh on JA98, but I don't think I am. I'd love to see him turn into a force of nature, but there have literally been no signs that he's going to suddenly morph into the second coming of John Abraham. In fact, you have bright neon signs indicating that he is simply what he is: A decent defensive end who is better against the run than the pass. You don't lean on that guy to be your third option when you want to rush the passer.

So color me extremely skeptical about this one. What say you?