It’s Monday and that means we’ve got some ultra-fresh links for you.
Richie Grant signed
The Atlanta Falcons second-round selection, safety Richie Grant, is now officially under contract. The defensive playmaker signed his rookie deal last week, leaving the Falcons with just one rookie left to sign: tight end Kyle Pitts.
Please: Stop comparing Calvin Ridley to Julio Jones. We get it — it’s the natural reaction to seeing the best wide receiver in franchise receiver traded away, but Ridley is a phenomenal talent in his own right — and he’s fully capable of harnessing the role of WR1.
Matt Hennessy: Front-runner?
The Falcons drafted Stanford center Drew Dalman in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, injecting some immediate intrigue into the offseason battle for the anchor spot on Atlanta’s offensive line.
As OL Matt Hennessy was selected just a year prior — with the heir-apparent tag thrust upon him once Alex Mack moved on — it made for some pontificating regarding how the Falcons felt about the young lineman.
Well, he heads into camp as the apparent front-runner for the gig, but it will be a competition to watch.
Our offseason Over/Under series is officially back, where our gang of crack writers takes an educated wager on the benchmarks a player will accomplish — or fall short of — in the coming season.
So we kick this whole shebang off with one of the pertinent questions: How will Matt Ryan fare under another new system — one that includes tight end Kyle Pitts but doesn’t include Julio Jones? Will Matt Ryan eclipse 4,400 passing yards in 2021?
And how about newly-acquired running back Mike Davis? Are you taking the over or under on 1,000 rushing yards with the Atlanta Falcons this season?
Vaccines and the league
Things are starting to feel somewhat normal. After over a year of a world rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve got fans in stands for sporting events. No more cardboard cutouts, please.
Vaccination has been the key to all of this, and the NFL really, really wants its players to get the shot — so much so that their recent memo on guidance for vaccinated/unvaccinated players makes life pretty tough for those who abstain from the vaccine.
Forgotten Falcons: Bert Emanuel
Did you happen to forget about wide receiver Bert Emanuel? Jog your memory with our feature on the productive wideout.