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Falcons free agency roundup: The Seattle connection and Niles Paul is a dead dream

A look at what's happened in a busy, pre-free agency Friday.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The official "tampering" period opens up tomorrow, giving the Falcons and 31 other NFL teams a chance to open contract talks with agents. While we wait for that momentous occasion, let's take a look at some of the happenings and rumors today that may impact Atlanta.

  • This is an extremely interesting read from Vaughn McClure, who takes a look at some potential Seattle free agents and chimes in with Ron Parker as a potential safety candidate. If both D. Orlando Ledbetter and McClure are talking about the guy, he's probably a target. 

    Keep an eye on some of the names from this article outside of Parker, too. Guys like Walter Thurmond and O'Brien Scofield could represent affordable upgrades for a team in need of them, and Quinn is quite familiar with both.
  • Niles Paul re-signed with the Washington Redskins, taking away one potential tight end candidate. McClure and others had fanned the flames there, and it seems likely he would have been a target had he made it to the open market. Instead, he'll return on a three-year deal, giving the Falcons a thinner market to consider when free agency opens in a few days.
  • The Brandon Marshall trade took the Jets off the wide receiver market and may put Percy Harvin into the free agency mix. I'm not strongly advocating for Harvin—he's had his issues staying healthy, and he may be costly—but at the right price he'd be a nice addition for the Falcons. Dan Quinn will know if he wants the guy or not, that's for certain.
  • It was a busy day for the Jets, in general. They re-signed linebacker David Harris to a three year deal, which takes the top inside linebacker off the open market. The Falcons weren't likely to be interested given his price tag, but as always, this has a trickle effect at a position where the team is likely to be active. Again, they're likely to shop in the second tier, but that doesn't mean a thinner market is a good thing. 
Anything we missed?