The Atlanta Falcons have frustrated their fans with a safe approach to personnel management in recent years. After the Michael Vick debacle, can you really blame them? But we're now nearly a decade removed from those shenanigans - it's time to love again.
To be fair, the Falcons aren't the Baltimore Ravens (i.e., a team that's willing to cut a player only accused of criminal wrongdoing). In fact, the Falcons have overlooked some relatively innocuous misdeeds in recent years: Jonathan Babineaux's weed arrest in 2009, Roddy White's 2014 arrest after his failure to appear in a window tint-related traffic case, John Abraham's obstructing arrest in 2012. That doesn't, however, speak to player acquisition.
We may never really know what players the Falcons didn't engage in free agency or passed on in the draft because of "character concerns" during the Dimitroff era. Even so, their cautious approach isn't a secret. So with many draft pundits proclaiming the fall of Randy Gregory's draft stock following his positive drug test (marijuana) at the combine, one might think the Falcons would pass on the kid. Well think again, Falcons fans. Per NFL.com's Chase Goodbread, given the opportunity to draft the dynamic pass rusher, the Falcons won't shy away from Gregory.
"Keep an eye on No. 8, the Atlanta Falcons," Rapoport said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "Not only do they need edge rushers, but there's been a little bit of a directive from owner Arthur Blank to take edgier players and not be scared by some of these issues. Dan Quinn, the new head coach coming from Seattle, can handle some of these issues in this culture."
A directive, eh? I like the sound of that. Good for Mr. Blank.
I really don't care if Randy Gregory smokes weed in his free time. Heck, if he and Matt Ryan want to get together, bust out a party-size bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, and watch the Led Zeppelin-infused version of The Wizard of Oz , that's fine by me. What you do on off days in the privacy of your own home is not my concern. In short, if you're putting in the work, and it's translating to the field, then I'm good.
Your thoughts about the Falcons' potentially revised approach to personnel management?