Atlanta Falcons Decisions Q&A: Haynesworth, Milloy, and Brooking
This slideshow and article is intended to discuss moves the Atlanta Falcons will and won't make this off-season.
Will the Falcons pursue Albert Haynesworth in free agency? The team has already issued a statement that they are not going to pursue him. If this was Bill Parcells, another person, or another team stating this, then it probably would not hold water.
However, believe the Falcons on this one because Haynesworth will garner much attention and a much larger payday. Many individuals cannot understand why the team would not pursue Albert, when they are in desperate need of a DT.
There is one variable that many outsiders have not factored in, and that is the return of former starter, DT Trey Lewis.
If he comes back from his injury and plays at a high level, it will be a huge boost to the Falcons.
Also, some have speculated that DE Jamal Anderson (who hasn't panned out at DE) will also be tried at the defensive tackle position. Could the Falcons not be as thin at DT as they seem?
Also when signing a player of Haynesworth's caliber to a huge contract, a team must also consider the future salary cap ramifications of such a decision.
Something else to consider is that sometimes when a player switches teams (schemes, etc.) they don't make as much of an impact. Also injuries factor in...how does it benefit your team to sign a player to a huge contract when it is possible that player could get injured, or simply not play well?
How will that player fit into the locker room, and are they a positive role model and team player?
Deciding to not resign Lawyer Milloy
Everyone knew this could happen...but I thought the Falcons would seriously think about resigning Milloy to a one-year deal.
Milloy played pretty well for the Falcons last year...however his lack of play making in their playoff loss to Arizona may have signaled his departure.
Was this decision totally made by the Falcons, or did some of it rest upon Milloy himself? This decision may in the end have been Milloy's, since he still wants to start and may have not wanted to take less money.
He also reportedly would like to play for Seattle, so maybe that was a factor as well. The team definitely needs an upgrade at safety and that will probably come in the draft. It is reported that Atlanta has given a hard look at multiple safeties at the combine.
Milloy's presence in the locker room as a leader and character guy will be missed. Erik Coleman will be the veteran safety on the team and need to step up into the leadership role vacated by Milloy.
Keith Brooking - To Sign or Resign?
The Keith Brooking of old is not the Keith Brooking of new. Brooking's play has definitely declined over the past few seasons.
What caused this? Was it the multitude of different coaches, coaching staffs, and schemes that did Keith in? Has he suffered a loss of desire, or lost a step? His head does not seem in the game anymore and he seems to mindlessly run around the field at times.
The defense itself seemed to be confused a lot, so I don't know if this is all Keith's fault. Is Brian Van Gorder the defensive coordinator he is cracked up to be, or did he just have little to work with?
That question will be answered rather quickly, pending the multiple changes in personnel the Falcons will go through this off-season.
According to fans' negative reaction to the resigning of Brooking on many internet blogs, this has not been a popular move. However, here is a list of things to consider:
1. Lack of experience in the linebacking Corps
2. Mass veteran purge
3. Better safe than sorry
1. One major factor in Brooking being resigned by the Falcons is his desire to be with the club. No one will discount the contributions Keith has lent to this team.
However, his play now is more of a liability than a gift. However, if Boley leaves and the team doesn't resign Brooking, that would leave the team with potentially drafting and starting two rookies at linebacker.
Would this be a good move since Curtis Lofton is only going into his second year as the starting MLB? The lack of talent at OLB in free agency and the Falcons not wanting to overspend pretty much signals the draft as their avenue of gaining new talent.
2. Does the team want to purge all the veterans? Let's face it, the team has lost most of their veteran leadership and presence in the last couple of years.
Don't you need some veterans around to tutor the younger players? Remember when Jimmy Johnson took over the Dolphins a few years back and mass-purged veterans there? How did that work out?
3. What if Atlanta drafts linebackers or picks up linebackers in free agency and they don't pan out? What if there are injuries? Isn't depth a concern?
I don't think anyone would balk at the notion of Keith Brooking being a backup, especially if he is willing to take a drastic pay cut to stay with the team.