When you think of Falcons special teams players, it's hard not to think of Eric Weems and his exceptional play over the years. As a receiver Weems hasn't shown much, but on special teams he has been a consistently good - and sometimes great - contributor. So, how did the 30-year old veteran look this year for the Falcons?
Special Teams value - and not much else
When you think of Eric Weems, it is primarily as a special teams player. While he has played receiver here and there, he's just never been much of a factor in the passing game. At 30 years old, it's unlikely that he's going to suddenly blossom into a true receiving threat, so his special teams value needs to be exceptional - which it has been. With Devin Hester injured for most of 2015, Weems took over return duties and did OK, though it was obvious he wasn't the threat that he once was. While he may be on the back-end of his career, it's clear he still has some value.
If nothing else, Falcons fans will never forget his contribution to this timeless play:
The 2016 season is the last one in Eric Weems 3 year deal. He's set to make $885,000 in salary. His cap hit will be a little over 1.1 Million for the year. The Falcons could save 935k against the 2016 cap if they cut him.
Weems contract is hardly restrictive and is more than fair for a player with the special teams value that he has. While it's possible he could be released, his salary and cap hit shouldn't be the reason it happens.
Outlook for 2016
Though Eric has little value in the Falcons offense, he is still a worthwhile member of the special teams units. He can step in as a returner when needed, and his salary is negligible. He does turn 31 during the 2016 season though, so age is a factor and it's quite possible he'll be replaced by a younger (and slightly cheaper) option. I'd expect to see him back in camp and barring a massive degradation in his physical skills, I believe he'll be on the roster for his final contract year.
What are your thoughts on the veteran receiver?