The Falcons have been outspent by a number of teams early in free agency. Dimitroff seemed to want no part in dedicating a big portion of their cap space to a few top players, instead making smaller, cheaper additions. The team sure could use some better talent at more positions than can possibly be fixed in just one offseason.
Earlier today we learned that the Falcons missed out on tight end Lance Kendricks, who took less money for less playing time on a team with no quarterback.
Just got off conference call w/Lance Kendricks. Said he turned down more money from Atlanta to re-sign w/Rams.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) March 13, 2015
That stings, but Kendricks accepted a deal with St. Louis that was probably worth more than his offensive impact. The free agent tight ends lacks lots of big names, but certainly includes some guys with huge upside.
Per ESPN's Vaughn McClure:
Former Arizona Cardinals TE Rob Housler ``visited'' the Falcons today, I'm told. Not sure if it means he left town without signing/will sign— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 13, 2015
Housler is an interesting prospect who did not really fit Bruce Arians' offense in Arizona. In fact, Dave suggested the Falcons should trade for him last year. Housler would have been the missing piece.
The 26-year-old Housler came out of school with 4.46 wheels and plenty of promise, which he's mostly failed to deliver on in Arizona. The team's blocking-heavy tight end roles don't help, but Housler still hasn't played in all 16 games and set career highs last year with 39 catches for 445 yards and a touchdown, all for a middling 11.3 yards per catch.
If Housler can stay healthy, he could be a monster in Mike Shananhan's tight end-friendly offense. Three or four days into free agency, players will start dropping their prices and providing value to their team. While the Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans have cashed out on their frantic spending sprees, other teams will begin adding value players to provide better depth across their entire roster.
Housler fits that mold and would likely be immediately penciled in as a starting tight end. If the Falcons like what they see, he may sign a short, inexpensive deal on the hopes he can stay healthy and develop into the player that made him a third round selection.
Update: Vaughn has reported that Housler has left Atlanta without signing a contract. No word if one was offered or if Atlanta is expected to look at other available tight ends.
Free agent tight end Rob Housler left Atlanta last night without signing a contract with the Falcons— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 14, 2015