Jackson and Gonzalez Would Land Falcons on the National Stage
Atlanta Falcons fans who have complained about the national media not paying enough attention to the team could get a rude awakening this coming season.
That is, if the Falcons get Steven Jackson and Tony Gonzalez on board.
Heading into free agency, many speculated that general manager Thomas Dimitroff would make signing his own players his number one priority. Dimitroff has already gotten a good jump on making necessary offseason moves.
Atlanta has re-signed tailback Antone Smith and agreed to terms with safety William Moore and guard Garrett Reynolds as of Sunday. There're likely more moves already in the works, under the hood, as the free agency period begins Tuesday.
So far, the 2013 Falcons are the same as the 2012 Falcons that lost a heart breaker in the first ever NFC Championship played in Atlanta, minus veterans John Abraham, Dunta Robinson and Michael Turner.
The fact that Atlanta's biggest offseason concern is building a pass rush on top of blue collar players like Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquoi and Cliff Matthews may not bode well, to this point, for experts who have already started picking at their favorite teams.
Re-signings and cuts won't make the media drool over you, but Atlanta could have everyone around the country salivating by the end of the week.
A report was released on Sunday that insists there is a very good chance Tony Gonzalez will return in a Falcons uniform.
If these two players land in Falcons uniforms, the media will undoubtedly point its watchful eye down south.
Atlanta would have the most star-studded offense in the NFL. The defense, so far, has the guys it wants in William Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Sean Weatherspoon and Asante Samuel all being proven playmakers and Pro Bowl caliber players.
And one has to assume the team will continue to build a strong nucleus through the draft, as it has since Dimitroff arrived in Atlanta in 2008.
What would make this situation so intriguing is that Jackson and Gonzalez would only be joining the Falcons if one of the major factors for their return is a chance at a Super Bowl run.
Gonzalez won his first ever playoff game in his storied NFL career last year, and was 10 yards away from playing in a Super Bowl. There's no doubt that low-hanging fruit has earned his attention in the past few months.
Jackson, who joined the league as a rookie in 2004, has not played in a playoff game since he and the Rams fell in Atlanta, 47-17, in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in the '04-'05 season.
The two would tie the Falcons in an ultimatum of sorts. Atlanta usually flies under the radar and quietly climbs regular season standings, but this would be the loudest offseason in Falcons history.
The national rhetoric will probably sound a lot like, "If Atlanta can't make the Super Bowl this year, they'll probably never make it."
Matt Ryan could still see a re-structure of his contract, which could flirt with Joe Flacco's. That too will create an unprecedented amount of buzz around the city.
Yes, Gonzalez and Jackson could make Falcons fans the most excited they have ever been before a season.
It will certainly be ironic if the spotlight shines too bright, however. Failure won't be in the cards.
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