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A Potential Falcons Free Agent: Channing Crowder

Interesting spot o' reportage from D. Orlando Ledbetter, who links the Falcons to former Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Channing Crowder.

Crowder has always been known for his mouth—he can be, depending on your perspective, infuriating or funny as hell—but he was also a pretty good linebacker for the Miami Dolphins and is just 28 years old. With the Falcons facing the possibility of losing Curtis Lofton in free agency, it would not surprise me in the least if they kicked the tires on guys like Crowder.

That said, there's reason to be skeptical about this happening. First of all, pretty much everything DOL's reporting here comes directly from Crowder, who has powerful incentive to create a market for himself. I'm not saying that Ledbetter doesn't have sources in Flowery Branch who are telling him this is going to happen, and the Mike Nolan connection from Miami makes it awfully logical, particularly since Nolan apparently is still in touch with Crowder. But I didn't read anything in that story that said the Falcons are going to go after him, just that there might be interest.

Crowder didn't play at all last season after he was released by the Dolphins, and played in only 11 games in 2010. Given the unknowns about his conditioning after a year off and the fact that he was never an elite linebacker, it seems more likely the Falcons would be looking at him as a potential backup rather than a starter. I'd think the Falcons would promote Akeem Dent before they would install Crowder as Lofton's replacement, but they'd almost certainly be in the market for an experienced backup if that happened.

So keep this one in the back of your mind. As an entertaining reserve with a good pedigree, he'd make a certain amount of sense. We'll have to see what happens with Lofton, first.