The Atlanta Falcons have made another smart move this offseason in keeping the starting secondary from last year together. They have re-signed safety Thomas Decoud to a deal to kick off the first long-term re-signing this year.
Why it Makes Sense for Atlanta
Atlanta makes the right move in terms of keeping their starting free safety and interception leader. Thomas Decoud will be the perfect fit long-term for Mike Nolan's defense as the center fielder. Decoud will also have a role in the creation of the defensive scheme and will be more of a playmaker.
Why it Makes Sense for Thomas Decoud
Decoud comes back to the team that drafted him. He's going to be in the starting role and will be coming back to not just a playoff contender, but possibly even a Super Bowl contender. He will be a big impact player in Nolan's defense.
Also, Decoud is a huge shoe collector, and Atlanta is one of the easiest cities to get collector versions of Nike, Jordan, LeBron, etc,. type shoes.
Estimated Contract: Four years, $20 million
The Falcons will get great value out of their free agents, and it's hard to believe that Decoud would come close to making the franchise tag average out on the open market. Decoud understands that there are more contracts out there than just his and will help the team out by taking less money.
UPDATE: Details of the contract have leaked. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the deal as such:
Safety Thomas Decoud's new deal with Atlanta is a 5-year, $17.5 million base package, including $4 million in guarantees money.
The Falcons get a brilliant deal here and don't have to overspend for a starter. Fans will love seeing that Decoud will be back in Atlanta for another 5 years. Projecting that the contract is structured as such:
5 years, $17.5 million total with $4 million signing bonus pro-rated over 5 years.
2012 - $700k Base Salary, $800k pro-rated signing bonus = $1.5 million cap hit
2013 - $1.7 million Base Salary, $800k pro-rated signing bonus = $2.5 million cap hit
2014 - $3.5 million Base Salary, $800k pro-rated signing bonus = $4.3 million cap hit
2015 - $3.7 million Base Salary, $800k pro-rated signing bonus = $4.5 million cap hit
2016 - $3.9 million Base Salary, $800k pro-rated signing bonus = $4.7 million cap hit
Keep in mind, the per year details are all just speculation on my part and may or may not be the actual contract numbers.