We can (and often will) question the amount of money the Falcons are willing to spend on free agents, and who they spend it on. Credit them with this, though: When they reach the bargain hunting stage of the offseason, they usually wind up landing useful players, or at least intriguing gambles.
Here's who the Falcons have signed since the initial frenzy to begin free agency died down.
- DeMarcus Van Dyke, a flier at cornerback with tremendous speed
- Aldrick Robinson, a flier at wide receiver with very good speed
- Damian Parms, a safety who spent time in the Falcons' system a year ago
- LaRoy Reynolds, a competent special teamer and reserve linebacker who will replace Nate Stupar
- Tom Compton, a potential (if uninspiring) starting option at guard who should at least be a useful reserve along the offensive line
- Philip Wheeler, one of the team's faster and better linebackers a year ago
They've also hosted free agent linebacker Courtney Upshaw for a visit, and could poke around what remains of the free agent market at the position, including guys like Falcoholic favorite Sam Acho. For a team that needs to fill out its roster and address areas of need, these are all smart, low-cost signings that have a chance of paying off.
Of course, the problem is that Wheeler hardly solves the team's linebacker problem, which they could have arguably done by bidding up on the likes of Danny Trevathan or Jerrell Freeman, and the team will have to address linebacker, safety, and even guard through the draft after settling for budget options in free agency. This team elected to devote most of its resources to the defensive line, center, and wide receiver, and we won't know for a while yet whether that's actually going to pay off.
The upshot here, though, isn't that the Falcons are brilliantly clever, that they've nailed free agency, or that they've fixed their many problems, because as I noted the other day, this is a team that is still very much under construction. I just think they've done well at adding players with their limited cap space who should be able to contribute in 2016.
Who do you like best from the list above?