2015 Draft – A Look Back

09draft

A LOOK BACK AT THE FALCONS 2015 DRAFT

THE FIRST OF THE DAN QUINN ERA

by Dewey

It’s the time of year every armchair General Manager looks forward to….the off season. NFL Draft Combine, free agency, the draft, secondary free agency, the time where every fan with a pencil, paper and internet access becomes experts in talent evaluation and knows exactly how to build a Super Bowl Champion.

As much as I love this time of year, I also enjoy reflecting on past drafts…successes and failures. I’ve been doing this piece for the Cage for about 4 years now. I usually wait until after the season’s draft to post this, but this year I decided to not mess up our fawning over all of our shiny new toys and print this before any of the wheeling and dealing starts.

For those not familiar with my method, a quick refresher.

-I like giving out number grades instead of the standard letter grades

-Most NFL folks will tell you it takes 2-3 years to truly grade a draft. Years ago when I started this, I chose the 3 year mark (players have been in the league for 3 seasons). So that’s why this year’s look is at the 2015 draft.

-I usually give a final grade at the end of it all, just averaging the grades of all the draftees. This year, I’ve decided to “weigh” each pick, possibly giving a more fair assessment of the draft. Afterall, a 7th round pick who washes out shouldn’t carry as much weight as a 1st rounder who washes out.

So, without further ado, I give you Coach Dan Quinn’s 1st NFL draft


01

ROUND 1-VIC BEASLEY, DE, CLEMSON

The 2014 season our Atlanta Falcons produce fewer than 20 sacks for the entire season. There have been single players in NFL history to record 20 sacks in a single season. Quinn needed to pump some life into a miserable pass rush. Beasley had a slow rookie season (4 sacks), then burst onto the scene in year number 2 to lead the NFC with 15.5 sacks. Then year 3 saw a backslide in pass rush production (5 sacks). There will be many excuses given for these numbers. Played out of position, played injured, not used correctly, etc. The reality of the situation is, Quinn drafted Beasley to be his Atlanta version of Seattle’s Bruce Irvin or Denver’s Von Miler. Beasley was supposed to be a linebacker that rushed the QB on passing downs. The main problem here was Vic had never played linebacker and was not given the chance to do so his rookie season. Year#2 he played some linebacker, but mostly rushed the passer. Year#3, Vic was forced to play more linebacker (because of injury and poor personnel decisions) and seemed generally lost doing so. After the 2017 season ended, Quinn stated that Beasley would be moving back to DE full time. Good and bad news. Beasley is not a full time DE, he’s just to small. Injuries are mounting on the young player because he is routinely asked to do battle with players that outweigh him by 80+lbs. Moving forward, I don’t see Beasley as being anything more than a pass rush specialist. 2nd down and 9+yards to go, 3rd down and 4+yards to go and 2 minute defenses. Line him up and tell him to go get the QB, don’t worry about anything else.

24.5 sacks your 1st 3 years in the league is nothing to be ashamed of. But when 15.5 of those came in one season (and it wasn’t the most recent), then there is some cause for concern. So far, Beasley has not been the beast we’d all hoped he would become, and in the next few months, the team must decide whether or not to pick up his 5th year option for being a 1st round pick, which is going to be somewhere north of $10 million for 1 season. I can’t consciously give Beasley a high grade for 1 good season out of 3.

GRADE:78


07

ROUND 2-JALEN COLLINS, CB, LSU

This pick raised more than a few eyebrows for a variety of reasons. Collins had only started 9 career college games. Collins had run afoul of his team and the NCAA a total of 3 times for substance abuse. Trufant and Alford were our starting CB’s and played solidly if not spectacularly. There were so many other holes on the roster, adding a 3rd CB was way down on most folks lists.

You all know the story of how this turned out. Collins was slow to pick things up as a rookie and played sparingly. Year 2, his 1st NFL suspension, came back, couldn’t crack his way into the starting lineup. Trufant gets hurt, Collins is forced into the lineup. Collins places well, sometimes really well, causing some fans (GUILTY!) to wonder if the Falcons should trade Trufant rather than signing him to a big contract extension. Well, Trufant got his fat raise, and Collins was suspended a 2nd time, leading to his ultimate dismissal from the team. To the best of my knowledge, he’s still not with a club. Cautionary Tale: if you’re really good, you can screw up as many times as you want and teams will give you chance after chance after chance. If you’re just average, well there are 100’s of those guys out there, teams don’t want to deal with a major headache for average.

GRADE:0


02

ROUND 3-TEVIN COLEMAN, RB, INDIANA

Heading into the 2015 season, the Falcons only had 1 real RB on the roster, Devonta Freeman, who was a seldom used rookie just 1 year prior. Regardless if Devonta was starting caliber or not, another RB was needed. Tevin pretty much fell into Atlanta’s lap in the 2015 draft. Coleman had over 2,000 yards his senior year in Indiana and was a proven pass catcher and kick returner. So impressed were the Falcons with Tevin during training camp and pre-season, that he was named the starting RB. But then an injury caused Tevin to relinquish his starting job, one which Devonta would grab hold of and not let go. Injuries marred Tevin’s rookie season, as did a bad case of fumblitis. But in 2016, Tevin came back strong and formed a lethal 1-2 punch with Devonta. Tevin has been a perfect compliment to Devonta, and even showing he could be the workhorse when Devonta was out. Honestly, Tevin has been everything you could hope for. No complaints.

GRADE:83


06

ROUND 4-JUSTIN HARDY, WR, EAST CAROLINA

Justin came to Atlanta with a lot of NCAA receptions but not much fanfare. Justin can catch pretty much anything thrown his way, but one of the knocks on him was East Carolina didn’t really have a playbook as much as they ran sandlot football. Justin didn’t really run routes at East Carolina as he just fond the open spot and hoped the QB found him. That caused Justin to be a bit tardy in his learning curve coming to the NFL. Since then, what we have learned about Hardy is he seems just a tad too slow, not quite quick enough, but yes, he pretty much catches anything he can get his hands on. In the one game in 2017 where the Falcons lost Sanu an Julio, Hardy had his chance to prove what he could do…not much happened. Hardy has done everything the Falcons have asked of him. Plays special teams, blocks, runs clearing routes or rub routes, and does catch the occasional pass. This past year he had as many TD’s as Julio (which is more of an indictment of Julio than it is praise for Justin). The fact is, 3 years in, Justin is a take-him or leave-him wide receiver. The fact that he’s still here 3 years later is the only thing that gets him a passing grade(barely).

GRADE:65


03

ROUND 5-GRADY JARRETT, DT, CLEMSON

I wish all of Thomas Dimitroff’s trade ups worked out this well. For what we gave up, this is quite possibly the best trade up of Dimitroff’s many trade ups. This is how and when you do it. Late in the draft, where there’s a player still available who by all rights shouldn’t still be there. Grady has been everything you could hope for in a DT. He plays the run well, gets penetration, gets pressure on the QB and can occasionally get a sack. Grady saved his best game for Super Bowl 51, in which he surely would have been MVP (sorry Devonta, it would not have been you) had we just run the damn ball and kicked the FG. Sorry bout that, old wounds. Anyway, Grady is in the top half of the league’s DT’s. Not dominant every play or even every game, but he can dominate at times during games. The only part of his game you would like to se improvement in is actually getting to the QB, which may come when we finally get a full compliment of pass rushers around him.

GRADE:86


05

ROUND 6-JAKE RODGERS, OT, EASTERN MICHIGAN

This pick alone stands as a major statement selection in the Dan Quinn era. A trend that is thus far more disturbing than any. Draft what you perceive to be an athletic offensive linemen late in the draft, try to mold him into something you’re looking for, fail, move on to the next one. This is all I will say about this pick and this player. Jake never amounted to anything for the Falcons and is now out of the league.

GRADE:0


04

ROUND 7-AKEEM KING, S, SAN JOSE STATE

Here is the other Dan Quinn trend that has marked the Dan Quinn era so far. What do these players have in common? Ricardo Allen, Akeem King, Damonte Kazee. They are all DB’s that Quinn has switched from their natural position once they arrived in the NFL. So far it has worked for Allen (switched from CB to S), though he is not spectacular at any one thing. The book is still out on Kazee (switched from CB to S), who looked ok filling in for Allen a few times as a rookie. The switch did not work out well for King (moved from S to CB). King was dropped from the Falcons in 2016, has landed on a couple of practice squads, and if I’m not mistaken, is now looking for work as a free agent.

GRADE:0


OVERVIEW

I told you at the beginning, I have a new grading system for the overall all grade of the draft. Before I came up with grades, averaged them all, then came up with a final number, which usually ended up being a fail. Now I’m weighing the rounds, 1st round counts more, 2nd a little less, so on and so forth.

OVERALL GRADE:67.8

Maybe I need to find another new way to come up with overall grade. But when you’re 2nd round pick is no longer even on the team, for whatever reason, that’s going to drag your overall score down. When 3 of 7 picks are no longer on the team, that will hurt as well.

Regardless of grade, this was a solid draft. Nothing fancy. Beasley, Tevin, Hardy are all part-timers. Though Tevin has shown he can be a full timer, and Beasley has shown he can be a Pro Bowl caliber pass rusher (which, in my book, is still only part time work). Grady Jarrett is easily the crown jewel of the 2015 draft.

My grading system may be lacking in overall sophistication, but it does go to show you how missing on an early pick can really mess you up. I’ve seen plenty of mocks for the 2018 draft which have us needing a CB. Had Collins kept his nose clean, that would not be a need in this upcoming draft, a pick that could be better spent somewhere else.

08Beasley

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1,518 thoughts on “2015 Draft – A Look Back

  1. SG

    “@Saints Condolences to the Benson family. Mr Benson took the time to hand write me a letter one year congratulating me on my success. It was a honor to receive such a nice gesture.” #respect

    via Matt Bryant’s twitter feed

    Reply
      1. SG

        😂
        As I understand it GMan, for a top prospect, most teams have representation.
        My guess is TD chose to go because he has a favorite bike route out there in Southern California.

        Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      SG – “Under what circumstances would TD go across the country to a 1st Rd QB pick’s pro day? Are we going to need a NEW QB any time soon?” ….. and it’s past March 14th when Matt Ryan could have helped with reducing the salary cap AND he’s not signed. My My the plot thickens!

      Reply
      1. SG

        Flo – For our “Money’s No Object” GM, flying cross country is never an issue. He probably just wanted to rub elbows w/ Elway and whoever else who’s considering Josh.

        Reply
      2. Flo-Ri-Duh

        SG – Doubt TD’s there to see Josh Rosen (QB) – more likely to see who else from UCLA is auditioning for the NFL.
        courtesy of nfl.com: UCLA potential draftees –
        Josh Rosen (QB) – 6.1 (rated 1st Rd) – no need to bother discussing him – TD can’t evaluate QB’s & not why he’s there
        ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
        Kolton Miller (OT), 6’9″ 310 lb. – 5.6 (2nd-3rd Rd)
        *protected the 1st Rd Josh Rosen’s blind side
        combine: 4.95 40 / 24 Reps BP / 7.34 sec 3-cone
        *due to his height has concerns getting low enough to pass block in NFL – probably a Right OT move
        ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
        Jordan Lasley (WR), 6’1″ 210 lb – 5.5 (2nd-3rd Rd)
        combine: 4.50 40 / 8 Reps BP
        * has off-field issues: multiple suspensions, 2 arrests for possession of alcohol & fake ID at club in 2016, suspended for 3 games 2017
        **doubt he goes before 4th Rd due to off-field issues but he’s got starting potential –
        ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
        Scott Quessenberry (C/OG), 6’4″ 315 lb. – 5.4 (6th-7th Rd)
        combine: 5.09 40 / 25 Reps BP / 7.50 sec 3-cone
        *Basically average in all skills at best – sounds like a TD fave trait
        …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
        Kenny Young (ILB), 6’1″ 229 lb. – 5.1 (5th-6th Rd)
        combine: 4.60 40 / 23 Reps BP / 7.38 sec 3-cone
        *difficult upbringing (TD loves a sob story- ala Hageman)
        scouts say he should move to WILL – lacks instincts & slow to react – basically means he’s a special teamer & backup at best
        ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
        Matt Dickerson (DE)6’4″, 290 lb, – 4.9 (6th-7th Rd)
        combine: 5.06 40 / 26 Reps BP / 31″ vetical jump
        *scout: “Lacks pass-rush. Has a shot to make it as replacement-level backup”…. BINGO!
        …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

        Well now I see one decent/unlikley possibility at OT (2nd-3rd Rd), a black-dot candidate with an alcohol/discipline problem/also unlikely & three reasonble late Rd or undrafted free agent possibilities….. bottom line? They sent TD there to get him out of their way!

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Thanks for the reply JWW. $10 mill per yr for Starr Lotulelei? – He’s not that good… maybe $6-$7 mill is my top offer. Poe was far better in 2017 season. That’s why Panties let Starr go & signed Poe for $9 mill per year. A wise move by the Panties and dumb move by the Bills – and Falcons for letting him go.

          For my money Falcons should have: [signed Poe for $9 mill per yr 3 years]…. [got rid of 2 backup OG’s (Schweitzer & Harlowe) reducing salary cap $900,000]. [Negotiated a three year deal with Garland (OG/C/ DT): $2 mill ’18, $3.5 mill ’19, $3.5 mill ’20 reducing his cap in ’18 by $1 mill]. [Draft your future 4 yr starter Wynn (OG) {cost 26th pick $2 mill @spotrac.com}].

          Accounting 101:
          Poe……………………..= +$9 mill (signed 3 yrs)
          Schweitzer/Harlowe = -$900,000 (released)
          *sub-total = +$8.1 mill*
          Garland………………..= -$1 mill (signed 3 year deal lowering cap hit in ’18)
          *sub-total: +$7.1 mill*
          Fusco…………………..= -$3 mill (because we didn’t sign him)
          *sub-total = +$4.1 mil*
          Wynn……………………= -$1 mill ($1 mill less cap hit than Fusco)
          *sub-total = +$3.1 mill*
          ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
          Starting DT Resolved: Poe (All Pro talent)
          Starting OG Resolved: Wynn (All Pro talent)
          *still have draft picks 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 7th Rd to fill holes.

          BOTTOM LINE:CURRENTLY
          Starting DT: ????? (whoever slides to us in the draft I guess)
          Stating OG Blah: 3rd-tier $3 mill Fusco
          ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
          TD still stadns for Too Dumb

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            JB – If that’s a compliment I will take it. Going to be a while before I get over this sickening round of TD mis-trades. Poe wanted to stay – no reasonable offer given. Gag….

          2. medallion

            While I am still wondering and contemplating what the signing of Fusco, the resigning of other OL back-ups from last year, and the tender to Garland might ultimately mean [e.g., (1) if no one signs Garland away from us, could that mean Garland will go back to DT? (2) is there a health problem with Mack that might mean Garland has to focus on being a center), (3) do any of the moves so far really exclude drafting a LT or OG early, and (4) are the moves that Matt Ryan approved in exchange for some agreement on extending his contract), I feel compelled to politely disagree on some things in your post Flo.
            First, NFL cap county rules don’t always result in straight mathematical deductions for players cut and players signed. So, that throws out your “accounting 101” from the start. I wrote about that several years ago. At least one other Cager has written about that since I did. There are lots of professional writers that have addressed the topic also. Here’s a very simplistic example of one thing that doesn’t support your “accounting 101” theory. Assuming your figures about Schweitzer and Harlow cap costs are correct, releasing them doesn’t free up their total cap costs to go against just one new player’s cost. Removing two players from the top 51 players’ cap costs means two players get added to replace them. So, while some of the cap charge from two players’ contracts could (or sometimes would definitely) reduce the effect of a new contract for one other player, some of the cap cost of the two prior players would be eaten up by a different player moving into the top 51 players’ costs.
            If you want more explanation/examples of why it is not “accounting 101”, just ask.
            Second, if the Falcons could have signed Garland for the amount and years you suggested, I’m guessing that couldn’t be done since the Falcons used a 2nd round tender for one year (that could cost close to what you thought was possible for three years).
            Third (and this is more of an opinion difference), I don’t see Poe being worth 9 million per year for 3 years even if we had the salary cap room.
            Why do you think that would have been the best thing to do?

          3. Flo-Ri-Duh

            Med _ You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s your clone, your alter ego you are speaking of. It’s quite simple Med. Garland/Fusco are close in pay scale for ’18 [$290,000 vs $300,000]. Garland and Fusco will compete for the Right OG position. Either Harlowe or Schweitzer will be the odd man out as they don’t need five guys that can play OG taking up roster space. Garland is valuable because he can fill in at three diff positions when an injury occurs. That frees up roster spots for another position if necessary.

            Of course a replacement will have to be paid when a guy leaves. I explained that in what I wrote – saying guy “A” would cost so and so and “B” would cost $1 mill less – thus reducing the cap by $1 mill.

  2. John Waynesworld

    Rumor mill: Falcons need to trade up to get their coveted DT (whoever that is)…..

    1) Falcons sign Danny Woodhead (or any veteran RB) to a short term deal.
    2) Falcons trade Tevin Coleman to a team (any team) for their 3rd round draft pick.
    3) Falcons trade their #26 pick plus one of their 3rd round picks to Seattle (who have no 3rd rounder) for Seattle’s #18 pick plus one of their (four) 5th round picks.
    4) Falcons select one of the top 3 Defensive Tackles at #18, plus we have at least 1 pick in every round.

    Alternative – No Coleman trade…

    Falcons trade their #26 pick plus their 2019 3rd round pick to Seattle (who have no 3rd rounder) for their #18 pick.
    Falcons know they will receive at least a 4th round Compensatory pick from the league in 2019, which lessens the pain of losing that 3rd rounder.

    Seattle projected needs are OL (several areas), DE (with Bennett leaving) and RB.

    Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        Yes, sort of. I concocted it from some things I heard this morning on the radio. I know Dim already said he won’t trade Coleman and actually wants to put both RBs under contract. while smugly neglecting yearly O-Line prospects.

        Reply
        1. Dewey

          Really??!! Not one??!!!! Not once in now has 11th off season with us has has he managed to take a player that’s getting towards the end of his contract and flip them to someone else to get us some kind of building block asset???!!!!!!!

          NOT EVEN ONE DAM TIME????!!!!!!!!!!!

          Reply
          1. John Waynesworld

            It’s that lack of a business chill between the Falcons brass and their players. Ever since Blank bought the team, there has been a real players-first feel, with the Front Office going above and beyond to honor contracts, create extensions early, etc.

          2. Dewey

            I guess AB can fill that big empty space in his trophy cabinet where a Lombardi should be with a collage of pictures of him handing over checks to players, shaking their hands, you know, making friends. I bet that will look nice.

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      TD doesn’t mind letting guys go but trading them is “mean spirited”. I’m serious – I truly believe that’s TD’s though process. He can’t handle trading a player to a team that the player did not chooose to go to himself. BUT… when they draft a guy did that guy get the option to go where he wanted to go? Did TD ask the guy prior to drafting him….. do you mind coming here…. if so, I’ll pass you over and draft someone else because I’m so nice.

      Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      SG – TD already frittered away Falcons remaining pocket change on a couple of bench warming CB’s: re-signed McFadden – why????
      It’s all for the better any way…Dickson was not the real answer.

      Reply
  3. Dewey

    In all honesty, free agency is just about done for all Falcons. There might be a $1 million DT picked up, a FB for $750,000, maybe a WR or CB with kick returner on his resume for some chump change, but that should be about it. I don’t see Matt Ryan’s extension happening til the summer. So it looks as though our upgrades will come via the draft. We all know there are gaping holes at DT, but I thought it might help to take a different look at the roster to get some idea of the other directions we might go in. We know who the starters are, here’s a look at the backups……

    OFFENSE
    QB-Matt Schaub
    RB-Tevin Coleman (theoretically he’s really co-starter), other RB is Terrence McGee
    FB-none (no starter either)
    WR-Justin Hardy
    WR-Marvin Hall
    TE-Eric Saubert
    LT-Ty Sambrailo
    LG-Pat Harlow (this will probably be Ben Garland)
    C-Ben Garland
    RG-Wes Schweitzer (Garland will most likely be 1st up here as well)
    RT-Austin Paztor

    DEFENSE
    RE-depending on defense we start in, Brooks Reed or Tak McKinley
    3DT-Taniela Tupolo
    1DT-either Martin Ifedi or Joey Ivie, the other will be listed as starter
    LE-Jack Crawford or Vic Beasley, depending which defense we start with
    SLB-none
    MLB-none
    WLB-none
    CB-Brian Poole
    SS-Quincy Mauer
    FS-Damonte Kazee
    CB-Leon McFadden

    Have fun with this

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Dewey – Is this any thing new. I’m used to TD’s backdoor wisdom. Instead of re-signing Poe for $9 mill per Yr/ 3 yrs he signs a 3rd-tier Fusco, age 30, for $3 mill/3 yrs, 2nd Rd tenders a backup Garland for $2.9 mill (who will be a UFA in ’19), keeps Schweitzer, Harlowe, & whatevers laying around just because he signed them (though they’re useless) another several mill pissed away. Results: We have no gtd talent starting next to Jarrett, we have no gtd talent starting at OG. Hell next he will sign Weatherspoon for whatever he can scrape up. Too Dumb.

      Reply
      1. Chop Buster

        I’m so sick of TD making the same stupid decisions year after year. When is Arthur going to wake-up and realize no matter how much he tries to team TD with Quinn, he’ll (TD) always make these odd-ball decisions, never trade back in the draft, jump ahead of other teams unnecessarily for what he thinks is top talent, and overpaying mediocre players. Oh the day Dimwitt is dismissed. **Sigh**

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Well – don’t hold your breath… I’ve been waiting at least 4 years…. My theory is that TD has compromising info/pictures on AB that would be extremely embarrassing – or worse!

          Reply
          1. Dewey

            I got you beat. 2008, his first draft, we were stocked with picks thanks to McKay. 1st round, Dimitroff traded up for Sam Baker. I wanted him fired on the spot. Little did I know that was going to be the start of a very disturbing trend, but I just had this feeling.

            Still waiting, and suffering.

          2. Flo-Ri-Duh

            awright! Had Sam Baker been a picture of health I could have lived with it…. but he had a history book full of injuries out of college. Not a shining moment in TD’s so-called career.

    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      That’s more than right. Other than a slightly possible backup 4th tier prospect the UFA period is done for the Falcons… they’ll get a FB from the group of castoffs on the cutdown to the final 53 man roster… or from a UDFA.

      Since UFA is cooked – time to move on to the draft.

      Reply
  4. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Matt Ryan’s new deal may be coming next week! (ajc.com)
    *OH joy! Can’t wait to see what disaster of a contract TD/AB/MR agree to. Will it create the cap-space TD desires? Hope not – don’t need to add gasoline to the fire!!!

    Reply
    1. PoolerSpirit

      Yes, that contract will create the cap space to sign some UFA’s that may not even be released yet…

      Reply
  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Arno – Ole Buddy… Dewey has correctly stated that the UFA period for the Falcons is a cooked goose. Possibly time to POST a FALCON’S DRAFT article maybe? Heard anything at all from TeePee prognosticator Seminole Warrior?

    Reply
  6. Dewey

    EPIPHANY TIME!!!!!!!!
    And a lot of you aren’t going to like it. F21, you’ll hate it because it has more to do with our poor salary cap management. But, I promise you, if you read what I have to say (and I explain it correctly) you might agree.
    I can, with 99% accuracy, pinpoint when our salary cap problems started.
    March 10&11, 2016.
    Let me ask a question before we move on, how many would like the Falcons to have an extra $18 million in cap space right now? That’s on top of the paltry $3.5 million we currently possess. $21-22 million to fill gaps with 2nd tier, 3rd tier free agents.
    If any of you read my earlier post, wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple extra DT’s, a FB, TE, ANY other LB? I’m not talking about $9 million/year for Poe, or any of these other big contracts. I’m talking about the players that will be signed by teams from here on out. 1 or 2 year deals, $3-4 million/year for good quality depth in case of emergency. Right now, we can’t touch any of those players either without manipulating some current contracts.
    We, the Falcons, have at times overpaid for homegrown talent. This has been chronicled to death, no point in rehashing it all again. But, in a nutshell, 2 days, 2 contracts, 2 free agent signings have us in the mess we’re in now. Poor cap management? Yes, but also poor personnel decisions, poor personnel philosophies. Get your fingers ready, here it comes……
    March 10, 2016-signed C, Alex Mack
    March 11, 2016-signed WR Mohammed Sanu
    (Take a few seconds to let the screaming die down and………..)
    No argument here, Alex Mack is one of the best, if not the best C in football. This signing has been a ringing success. One that was sorely needed at the time.
    Mohammed Sanu, though some groaned mightily at the time, has turned into a solid #2 WR. No complaints here (other than a few drops, but who didn’t have those last season).
    Quite possibly the #1 and #3 best free agent signings in the Dimitroff era (gonna sneak Michael Turner in at #2). But also the 2 signings that have mostly contributed to our salary cap problems today.
    No, without Mack or Sanu, we most likely are not sitting here with 2 consecutive trips to the playoffs (the only NFC team that can make such a boast). But without them, we might be a stronger team 1-53 today.
    This is not so much about whether we needed them at the time, or if they were good signings at the time.
    No, this is about poor cap management (again) and more to the point, poor personnel philosophy.
    If we had drafted better, retained the right players, been able to fill gaps with 1-2 year inexpensive rentals until we were able to draft “our guy”, there would not have been a need to run out and grab these 2 stars.
    These problems pre-date the Quinn era, but he’s done nothing philosophically or practically, to change this.
    Without getting too deep, you mean to tell me we couldn’t have held on to Hawley for 1 more year (it was a rebuilding year, no reason to gut the place and force Ryan to run for his life behind Person), draft a would be future starter and hopefully have him in place by now? Yes, we had other needs as well, but we couldn’t have managed 1 extra C in 3 drafts??. Did we really need Justin Hardy?
    Look, it’s simple, even if it may not make sense. Had we had the correct philosophy, made the correct personnel decisions, there should have been no need to sign Mack and Sanu in the first place. Long term, expensive free agent contracts are where you get your team in trouble, even if it works out in the interim. Everything has a price.
    Alex Mack 2018 cap hit $11,050,000
    Mohammed Sanu 2018 cap hit $7,525,000
    Total cap hit for both in 2018 $18,575,000

    Reply
    1. SG

      Dewy, I swear I was about to throw my challenge flag out there when you tossed the Sanu and Mack contract figures / acquisitions in as the reasons we’re in this deep of a mess.

      I should’ve known you’d go to the real reasons they had to be picked up in the first place.

      Glad I read to the end. 👍

      Reply
      1. Dewey

        Figure a lot of folks will have that reaction if they don’t read the whole thing. Some will have that opinion even after they read it.
        Just one man’s thoughts.
        Glad you liked it.
        For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t swap Mack out for any other C in the league….well, maybe Fitzgerald in Dallas.☺

        Reply
    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Alex Mack (C) did his part.
      Matt Ryan (QB) = $21.65 mill cap hit & Julio Jones (WR) = $12.9 mill cap hit. underperformed for what they got paid. Most places you get a pay cut or pink slip, not a raise, for underperforming.

      Reply
    3. falcon21

      If you want to go back to what put this team in a hole that it is still trying to dig itself out of, go back to what was given up for JJ. This team was close at the time and could have filled many holes but they traded away the future for a WR that is good but he wasn’t worth giving up that many picks. TD was totally wrong on that move. Every move that is being made now is because of that screw up. The hole we are in now goes back to that screw up. That is a fact. Delete if you wish Arno.

      Reply
      1. Dewey

        Won’t get any argument here.
        It was funny. Green Bay blew us out 40 something to 20 something and Dimitroff decided we needed to get more explosive on offense. Just gave up almost 50 points and his answer was to be more explosive on offense.
        Many people may not be aware of this, but TD actually had targeted AJ Green and had inquired about moving up to get him. Can you believe it, Dimitroff actually said the cost to do that was too steep.

        Reply
  7. PoolerSpirit

    I’d like to ask whoever’s running The Cage to delete Flo’s 6:34 comment… That simply doesn’t belong here. Poor taste, and I’m sure Flo regrets having posted it…

    Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            I said nothing dirty or evil and that’s a fact. It was a poor joke perhaps – as I said. And I already apologized. A lot worse has been said on here that was not censored. The Thought Police read something in to what I said that was not meant by me… I don’t hate people because of their ethnic background… it’s done and I’m over it.

    1. JB Falcon

      Dang! Just checked in and scrolled back but whatever it was had been deleted. PS, thanks for monitoring and please let me know what it was. We have to stay in the lines or the picture gets ugly. Arno, we sincerely appreciate you. I’ve been guilty of posting something I could not take back but the cage is very understanding ans tolerant, to a point.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        JB (and everybody)– any time you want something you said deleted, just let me know. I’ve deleted my own posts a time or two! 🙂

        Reply
          1. Arno

            I take it you you think we shouldn’t host a vent tab at all. Glad to hear your view.

            Y’all agree or disagree with SG? Further discussion?

          2. JB Falcon

            Agree, the AJC discontinued their vent a year or so ago. It got to be a place for arguments.

          3. Flo-Ri-Duh

            SG – (My Opinon) and if I’m wrong others can correct me I’m sure, “The Vent” was meant to be where we discuss thing other than the Falcons. Not just politics. Many other subjects have been discussed there such as gardening, cooking, college sports, music, etc. We used to discuss these other subjects on the home Falcons page but some objected. On that I agree, things other than Falcons are best on The Vent.

            Just curious but why do you object to the existance of The Vent?

      2. Flo-Ri-Duh

        JB – You’ve said a lot worse. I don’t think it was bad… at least that wasn’t my intention. Someone disagreed. Fine. Society is VERY sensitive these days.

        Reply
        1. JB Falcon

          I do wish you would read posts entirely before you comment on them. I admitted that I have posted things I wish I had not.

          Reply
        2. SG

          Flo, while I only know you through the Cage and while I thought you were pushing the respect envelope a bit w/ your comment, I don’t believe there was mean intent.

          As for the vent, I stopped visiting until Greg posted his invite over there to gain insight on souse-vide. Haven’t been back since.

          I believe we’re all entitled to our opinions, regardless of topic. But when the comments are run to the extremes of disrespect – far more egregious than what your comment yesterday was pulled for, I have to disengage.

          In fact, let me ask, why aren’t the same standards

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            SG – Ask Arno about the standards… I don’t make that decision. We try not to say “4 letter words” on here. We try not to be ovely rude but debate is not out of bounds. We are not all required to agree with each other – AKA free speech. I respect your right (by law) to have your opinion and your right to speak/write your opinion. I don’t have to agree with your opinion. I don’t have to have the same opinion as you to be friends with you. I would say that 100% of the guys still on here are respectful of each other though we may vehemently disagree on certain topics. I don’t see that as a problem. A lot of what I call “snob intellectuals” now claim to be tolerant – as long as you agree with them. If you want intolerant – disagree with them – then you will see actual HATE.

            I don’t care IF Arno does away with The Vent but am concerned as to why we would do away with The Vent. Is it a form of “censorship” because we don’t agree with other’s views? Like I said, we don’t have to go to the Vent if it bothers us.

            I’m not rehashing this again so you do not have to give me a reply.

    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      PS – It wasn’t “dirty”…. no cuss words….. it wasn’t “hateful”….. some would say it’s in poor taste though I said it in jest…. wasn’t being serious. If you are implying otherwise you are mistaken. Others read the remark and made nothing of it. Had no comment. I’ve been a big supporter of PoolerSpirit. Sorry if I offended you in any way.

      Reply
      1. PoolerSpirit

        You and I have gotten along just fine since you joined with us here in the Cage. I respect your point of view on the Falcons. I imagine that you and I think a lot alike in regards to politics and social issues. But I was offended by that comment, and asked that it be deleted. I don’t regret doing that, and if JB or Dewey posts something similar in the near future, i’ll ask that their comment be banned as well. I won’t go into detail here as to why I found it offensive, but I think anybody with a lick of common sense would have found it out of the bounds of good taste. Let’s drop it and move on to discussing our Falcons… Blessings brothers…

        By the way, I just got back from Atlanta and seeing the world’s most beautiful granddaughter!!! Tiny… Just 6 lbs, 6 ounces and 20″ long… Tall and skinny like her Grandpa!

        Reply
      2. PoolerSpirit

        And yes, Flo, you’ve supported me through some very difficult times… I’m grateful for the friendship we’ve developed her amongst all members of the Cage. You in particular have been especially kind in reaching out, as have many others…

        Reply
      1. SG

        Oh man, who could’ve ever imagined he’d be that good after those injuries. Wish him nothing but the best…….well, except……

        Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      It must be nice to be such a good team where you can afford to release players who qualify for a Super Bowl winning team. We backed that up with releasing a 1st lineman to our competition and replace him with a back-up.

      Reply
    2. PoolerSpirit

      Taven Bryan will be a perfect replacement for Clayborn… good move letting him go UFA, provided we can get Bryan to replace him, or someone else who can play 5 tech/DE and 3 tech DT… Bryan’s just the one that’s been linked to us, probably will be there at #26…
      Now, to replace Poe, B.J. Hill from N.C. State may have elevated his draft position at the combine… before then, he was projected in the 4th to 5th… I think he’s moved to 2nd-3rd now…
      And importantly, this is how Quinn builds his defense… He drafts young guys that fit his system… It’s also what Belicheat does in New England… he lets the older pros go, usually a year early, and usually where he gets a player or draft pick in return. Just like we let Clayborn and Poe go… That’s for those of you complaining about losing those guys, but it’s how teams have to be built, through the draft, in these days of salary caps…

      Reply
      1. JB Falcon

        Well, that certainly calms me down since I’m one of those complaining about change. I guess it’s an old guy thing. You’re absolutely right about building from the draft. So, why did Belicheat pick up Clayborn?

        Reply
        1. medallion

          I suggest as possibilities that (1) Belicheat’s plans don’t always work out and (2) New England has cap room to add Clayborn to help fix something that didn’t work out as planned.

          Reply
      2. Dewey

        Pooler, from what I’ve read, Hill gets easily pushed around by double teams. He has the size of a 1 technique DT but plays like a 3 tech DT. The guy from VTech, Settle might need to be our mid round target. From what I’ve seen/read, he and Vea are the only true NT’s in this draft who can handle double teams. Settle had a horrible combine by all reports. Maybe he slides to 3rd/4th round and can be Coached up by Quinn.

        Reply
        1. PoolerSpirit

          Settle’s a guy I really liked early in the process, but he really lost some money at the combine… With our second round pick, I’d probably prefer to grab a wide receiver or a tight end who can/will help us with our red zone scoring, and then grab Settle in the 3rd or 4th to put some pounds on the DLine to replace Poe’s 340 pounds…

          Reply
    3. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Chop – Good link. So Clayborn gets $12 mill out of Belicheat. Good for him. He’s not great but he’s the best we had. Wish him good luck with injuries – expect this is his final deal so glad he’s getting paid.

      Reply
    1. Arno

      We have a draft related post coming by JWW. Certainly room for more. Dewey’s detailed cap posts have certainly kept the fire blazing. Much appreciated, Dewey!

      Reply
      1. Dewey

        No problem Arno.
        Really thought the Sanu/Mack post would have ilicited more responses. Almost sent it to you as a feature post. Glad I didn’t.

        Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Dewey _ We all have opinions don’t we? I’m sticking to Falcons only for now. Stats, etc. Not sure me writing a new post would be a good idea but I will considerate it. Thanks

        Reply
  8. Dewey

    Everyone wonders how Belicheck does it.
    Adrian Clayborn, signed for 2 years. That’s a perfect example. Player at the end of his career. Manageable short term contract.
    Can draft a replacement this year or next. Have him ready for when Clayborn’s contract is up, or ready next year and discard Clayborn without much cost.
    It’s a simple model that every team should be able to do….of course not us, we barely have 2 nickels to rub together.

    Reply
  9. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Jets/Colts Trade: Jets move from #6 to #3 pick. Colts get Jets #6 pick on ’18 AND their two 2nd Rd picks in ’18 & a 2nd Rd pick in ’19 if I got it right. (ajc.com)
    * Jets are targeting a QB – obviously. A trade up TD would envy.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      A trade down that I envy….
      you still get the #6 pick this year, add 2 #2’s this year AND get to add a 2nd next year!!!!!!
      ‘Scuse me for now, I need to go change my shorts

      Reply
  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons could trade for Mychal Kendricks (LB), Eagles. (thefalcoholic.com) *attributed to Ian Rapoport – NFL Network
    * Have doubts as Kendirck is being paid $7.6 mill in ’18 and the Eagles would also expect one or more draft picks to let him go.

    Reply

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