The Atlanta Falcons went out and signed a shiny new three technique/nose tackle hybrid this off-season. After a few contract-related shenanigans (is he signing? is he signing somewhere else? what’s the meaning of life?!) Dontari Poe officially inked a 1 year, $8 million contract with the Falcons. That was arguably a discount, in that he might’ve landed a contract with an annual value north of $10 million elsewhere. But who wouldn’t want to play for Dan Quinn and a team that almost won a Super Bowl?
Part of Poe’s contract is a $500k workout bonus, divided into four distinct payments that will follow four weigh ins between mini-camp in June and the week 9 game against the Carolina Panthers. In short, Poe has a strong financial incentive to keep his weight under control. (ESPN’s Vaughn McClure tackled this subject in a recent piece.)
Quinn previously said weight was going to be factor in Poe playing at his best in a new defensive system [...] "I would say he looks really good," Quinn said [and in addition] Quinn was asked if Poe would be paired with a nutritionist to help maintain a healthy diet. "I haven't done that yet," Quinn said. "He's lighter now than he was during the season in Kansas City, so not necessarily, yet. You guys will get to know him and he's a really squared away guy. If he shows that would help him, then we'll help him with that.”
The Falcons are basically asking him to play 20 pounds lighter than his listed weight during the 2016 season. That may seem like an easily attainable goal, and in many ways, with the help of trainers, professional cooks, a nutritionist, it can be. But let’s be honest, food is delicious and weight loss ain’t easy. Also don’t overlook the fact that he’s playing on a one year deal at age 26. He’s young, but he could be playing for his last, multi-year deal. This is worth way more to him than $500k.