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The Atlanta Falcons have struck a deal that will keep defensive end John Abraham in Atlanta. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Abraham and the Falcons agreed to terms on a three-year deal. No word on the money involved in the deal.
Abraham was drawing interest from a few teams, including the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos. Despite his age (34), Abraham is still a productive pass rusher so this is a solid move for the Falcons, who continue to need pass rusher help.
Abraham was a first round pick by the New York Jets in the 2000 NFL draft. He spent the first six years of his career in New York with the Jets and his last six with the Falcons.
The Falcons free agency has been relatively quiet. CB Brent Grimes received the franchise tag and LB Curtis Lofton hit the open market.
About 48 hours into the 2012 NFL free agency period and DE John Abraham remains unsigned. According to NFL Network, at least a couple of teams are interested in Abraham, including the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos. It was reported earlier this week that the Titans had interest in Abraham., but their interest could be contingent on what DL Jason Jones does in free agency.
Abraham is looking for another pay day in his career. He has 22.5 sacks in the last two seasons, so he can still play. At 34 years of age, though, you have to wonder how long he can continue to play at a high level.
It's been quiet on Abraham through the first two days of free agency. We haven't heard of any visits scheduled with him.
The NFL kicked off its free agent season on Tuesday. Already, teams and players are in hot pursuit of one another, with free agents making visits to interested teams and agents fielding any number of calls. One of the latest reports ties the Tennessee Titans to free agent defensive end John Abraham, who has been with the Atlanta Falcons since 2006.
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk reports that the Titans are definitely interested in the four-time Pro Bowler.
As we understand it, the Titans and Abraham were trying to schedule a visit, but that the Peyton chase has delayed things. With coach Mike Munchak and others traveling to meet with Manning, a visit with Abraham has not been scheduled.
The Titans are also rumored to be pursuing top free agent linebacker/defensive end Mario Williams. They will most likely not be able to afford picking up both Williams and Abraham, who will both command top dollar on the open market.
For all news and information regarding the Tennessee Titans, please visit Music City Miracles. For updates and perspective on the Atlanta Falcons, head on over to The Falcoholic. For complete coverage of all things free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL free agency hub.
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off their fourth straight winning season and are consistently making a push to make it into the playoffs. They're in good shape when it comes to cap space, which is a good thing because they're out a first-round pick in 2012 due to the trade up to grab Julio Jones in last year's draft.
When it comes to players that are likely moving out of Atlanta, defensive end John Abraham tops the list. He's not young, but he still knows how to rush the passer, and he'll likely find a new home along with linebacker Curtis Lofton. The team would likely like to have both of these guys back but may be unwilling to pay what they're asking for.
The biggest rumor floating around through Atlanta is the fact that the team may make a run after Mario Williams, who many believe is the NFL's top free agent after Peyton Manning, to replace Abraham. Williams will likely cost a lot of money and if he does sign with Atlanta, he'll likely be the only big-name free agent that they'll sign. All in all, the Falcons are in pretty good shape to battle for the 2012 division title.
For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Falcons blog, The Falcoholic.
Free agency is only days away and nearly everyone agrees that the No. 1 player to hit the market will be Mario Wiliams, who can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Williams excelled with the Houston Texans in recent years so in the prime of his career he can expect to land a major deal.
They'll be losing John Abraham in free agency and could certainly use Williams (as a lot of teams could). They play a 4-3 defense so he could return to defensive end and help transform the Falcons into a legit defense. The Falcons were a middle of the road defense last season and adding Williams would really put them over the top. They play in the NFC South with quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Cam Newton so it's extremely important to possess a good pass rush.
Williams in Atlanta makes sense. GM Thomas Dimitroff demonstrated last year with the Julio Jones trade that he's willing to make a splash. A move to get Williams would be another major splash.
The Atlanta Falcons are bringing back another of their own. The team announced that they have re-signed running back Jason Snelling. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. He was signed to a one-year deal last offseason and was scheduled to be a free agent.
Snelling is a solid backup option at running back, especially now that Michael Turner could be starting to break down. He did a decent job of filling in for Turner in 2009 rushing for over 600 yards.
Snelling was originally a seventh-round pick by the Falcons in the 2007 NFL draft. He rushed for 151 yards on 44 carries last season and caught 26 balls out of the backfield for 179 yards.
The Atlanta Falcons locked up one part of their secondary when they placed the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes. On Tuesday, the Falcons locked up another part of their secondary by signing safety Thomas DeCoud to a longterm deal, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Falcons agreed to terms with their starting safety Thomas DeCoud.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2012
The terms of the deal between the two sides have not yet been released, but the Falcons have two players of their starting secondary from 2011 returning for 2012. DeCoud originally joined the Falcons when he was selected in the 2008 NFL Draft in the third round, and he has been their starting safety since the 2009 season.
Hopefully, the contract signed by DeCoud will be enough to have his Cal football picture erased from the annals of the internet.
(h/t California Golden Blogs)
As many expected, the Atlanta Falcons have placed the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes. Using the tag here means Curtis Lofton could end up hitting the open market. They were the two franchise tag candidates on Atlanta's roster. This isn't a surprise.
The franchise tag number for cornerbacks is expected to be around $10.5 million. Other teams could pry him away but the cost of signing another team's franchise tagged player is two first round picks and no one is going to do that.
Grimes, 28, has a good story. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent and even spent some time in NFL Europe before catching on with the Falcons in 2007, mostly as a practice squad guy. Just four years later, he was a full-time starter and in the Pro Bowl.
Reality star, Atlanta Falcons special teams standout and key defensive end backup Kroy Biermann is close to agreeing to an extension, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The deal would reportedly be for three years and worth about $10-12 million.
Biermann is known to most of the world because of his involvement in Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" in which he's married to Kim Zolciak, but he has also started making a name for himself on the football field. The former fifth-round draft pick out of Montana has quietly put together a solid four-year NFL career. He has played in every game during that time, making 143 tackles and 12.5 sacks in his career.
Biermann started 14 of 16 games in 2010 when the Falcons went 13-3 and won the NFC South. His best statistical year was in 2009 when he made 49 tackles and 5.0 sacks.
For more on the Biermann's signing, be sure to check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic.
Agent for Falcons DE John Abraham says he's spoken to Falcons and believes the DE is bound for free agency. #NFL.com/#NFLNetwork.— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) February 22, 2012
Abraham has led the Atlanta Falcons in sacks in five of the last six seasons. With 9.5 during the 2011 season, he just missed out on again notching double-digit sacks for the season. Abraham is set to turn 34 this offseason, and it doesn't make a lot of sense for the Falcons to invest in a big contract with Abraham or to use the franchise tag on the defensive end, which would cost the Falcons about $10.6 million.
For more on the Falcons offseason and the John Abraham situation, head over to the SB Nation blog The Falcoholic.
The Atlanta Falcons currently have 20 impending free agents as they head into the 2012 NFL offseason, and one of those free agents is star cornerback Brent Grimes. Grimes is one of the better young cornerbacks in the NFL and is a player the Falcons want to hold onto. It's possible that the Falcons will franchise tag Grimes, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Talks with Grimes are in the early stages. He played last season for $2.61 million. An undrafted player from Shippensburg, he toiled the first five years in the league while making near the league's minimum salary and is looking for a big payday. The Falcons will be reluctant to apply the franchise tag - a $10.6 million commitment - on Grimes if they can't work out a deal.
While Grimes is a priority for the Falcons, franchising the cornerback at $10.6 million could be a last ditch effort. Hitting Grimes with the franchise tag would make him the Falcons second-highest paid player for 2012, behind only quarterback Matt Ryan. It would also mean the Falcons' two starting cornerbacks are one of the most expensive duos in the NFL, with Dunta Robinson also due $7.7 million in 2012.
For more on the Falcons offseason and the Brent Grimes situation, head over to the SB Nation blog The Falcoholic.
In hindsight, it is tough to fault the Atlanta Falcons for falling to the New York Giants in the Wildcard round of the 2012 playoffs. Still, Atlanta has been a team on the verge of bigger things for a while now, and with the right moves in the offseason they may finally be able to make a legitimate postseason run.
Key to a run could be defensive end John Abraham, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after recording 9.5 sacks last season. At 34 years old, whether Abraham stays in Atlanta may have a lot to do with whether or not he believes the team can get him his first Super Bowl ring. Curtis Lofton, Thomas DeCoud and Brent Grimes are the other defensive starters set to hit the market.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (2)
RB Antone Smith
TE Michael Palmer
Restricted Free Agents (1)
DT Vance Walker
Unrestricted Free Agents (17)
QB Chris Redman
RB Jason Snelling
WR Harry Douglas
WR Eric Weems
TE Reggie Kelly
OL Kirk Chambers
OL Todd McClure
OL Brett Romberg
DE John Abraham
DE Kroy Biermann
LB Curtis Lofton
LB Mike Peterson
CB Brent Grimes
CB Kelvin Hayden
S Thomas DeCoud
S James Sanders
LS Joe Zelenka
For more on the Falcons offseason, head over to the SB Nation blog The Falcoholic.