NFL Free Agents 2012: 4 Players Atlanta Falcons Should Target
The 2012 NFL free-agency period is winding down and the majority of the best players are already signed. The Falcons franchised cornerback Brent Grimes, solidifying the concern that he would walk, and allowed linebacker Curtis Lofton to depart for the New Orleans Saints. They did, however, sign former Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu.
There are still some big names on the market, and the Falcons still have holes on their depth chart. Atlanta doesn't have a first-round pick in this year's draft, so improvements may have to come through free agency. Here are four FAs the Falcons should target.
The other key piece the Atlanta Falcons need is an offensive tackle. Marcus McNeil, formerly with the San Diego Chargers, is a two-time Pro Bowler who would help solidify the offensive line.
The Falcons reportedly are showing interest in McNeil after the Chargers released him from a monster contract. They'll have to be big spenders if they want big results.
The Atlanta Falcons badly need help on the defensive front, and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has something to prove. The production from the Atlanta defensive tackles in 2011 was anemic.
The Falcons should target Haynesworth now because his asking price will never be lower. As long as they don't overpay him, something the Redskins did with a seven-year, $100 million deal, it would be a wise investment to bring in a player of his caliber.
He was upset with the Redskins making him a 3-4 nose tackle. Well, the Falcons are sticking with their 4-3 base, and the double teams Haynesworth faced won't be as prevalent.
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Brian Dawkins is certainly rising in age; He's 38 and not getting any younger. But Dawkins still provides leadership qualities that any team would look for.
Dawkins didn't intercept a pass all season for the first time in his career in 2011, but he still made contributions on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons should look into signing him to a short one or two-year deal, because his time in the league is running short.
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The Falcons could use some additional depth in the secondary. Cornerback Domonique Foxworth provides that, given that he is healthy.
Foxworth is a former Falcon and played under current coach Mike Smith in 2008. He missed most of the past two seasons with injury, but he still has potential. In 2009, Foxworth intercepted four passes and deflected 16.
The Falcons should offer him a low-paying, incentive-based contract to add depth to the secondary.