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Falcons Free Agency: The Falcons fared well, according to analysts

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We've rounded up the experts' grades for the Falcons' free agency efforts, and they're pretty good across the board.

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Free agency is winding down and draft preparation is ramping up. The Falcons made some key additions. On offense, the signing of center Alex Mack is huge. Mack is a genuinely good center and should provide needed stability on an interior line that desperately needs it. The team parted ways with veteran receiver Roddy White and opted to spend a lot of money to replace him with Mohamed Sanu.

Defensively, the team was wise to retain Adrian Clayborn, and they added an underrated player in Derrick Shelby. Reactions Atlanta's efforts in free agency from various analysts were pretty consistent.


Pro Football Focus liked the Falcons' decision to retain Ryan Schraeder (who hasn't signed his tender, but also hasn't generated a ton of reported interest from other teams, likely because of that second-round tender.) Schraeder has played very well, and barring anything crazy, it will be good to have him back at right tackle next season. Adrian Clayborn was a another key retention that PFF liked for Atlanta.

As far as additions, PFF pointed to the signings of Alex Mack, Derrick Shelby and Mohamed Sanu as positives for the Falcons. Their overall grade of B+ is a very respectable grade.


Much like PFF, ESPN liked the signings of Mack and Sanu, and they also saw re-signing Clayborn as a positive.

Atlanta also got credit from ESPN for their decision to part ways with William Moore, who wasn't living up to his contract, primarily due to injury. ESPN also thought it was the right time for the Falcons to move on from White, whose age had caught up with him to an extent.

Fun fact: ESPN gave Cleveland a grade of F+, so the Falcons certainly fared better than the Browns.

CBS Sports: B-

Pete Prisco applied his characteristically sunny disposition to his assessment of Atlanta's free agency efforts, saying Alex Mack is good, but on the decline. Prisco calls the Shelby signing, "Solid, not special." Oh, Pete. You're so cranky, but a B- is a perfectly fine grade, and we'll take it.

Prisco also rightly questions the amount of money the Falcons decided to pay Mohamed Sanu. He did give Atlanta credit for aggressively addressing needs, and called Shelby an underrated player.

Around the NFL: A-

Chris Wesseling of really liked the Alex Mack signing, especially the aspect of adding Mack to an offensive line with two very good tackles in Jake Matthews and Schraeder. Wesseling says the addition of Sanu means the offense is "on the upswing."

Defensively, Wesseling really liked the retention of Adrian Clayborn and the Derrick Shelby signing. His A- grade is the highest the Falcons received from any analyst this offseason.

SB Nation: In the Middle

SBN didn't give letter grades to teams for their free agency endeavors, but they do mention that the Falcons get an incomplete grade for the offseason. They cite the Mack signing as a positive, note that Sanu is overpaid, and single out the return of Sean Weatherspoon and the Shelby signing as positives.

For what it's worth, they said the Saints were "trending down," so that's fun.

What grade would you give the Falcons for this free agency period?