Atlanta Falcons Sign Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson to Replace Harry Douglas

Anthony HammettCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2009

The preseason has not even started yet and the Falcons already have roster issues to deal with.

Mini-camps began without a noticeable face around. Roddy White is holding out until he gets a contract extension. Rumors have it that he wants "Larry Fitzgerald money."

You may remember than Fitzgerald got an extension for two years and $20 million. It has been said that White is looking for four years and $40 million. That's an issue within itself.

But as if things couldn't get worse, they did this past week. Wide receiver Harry Douglas tore his ACL and is lost for the season.

The second year player from Louisville played a vital role last season in Atlanta's re-emergence into a playoff team. Douglas led the team in punt returns as well as catching 23 catches for 320 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons were forced to address their wide receiver issue through the free agent market. They began by working out Ike Hilliard and Robert Ferguson. Ferguson was obviously more impressive between the two and Atlanta signed him to a one year contract.

Ferguson last played for the Minnesota Vikings, but can be remembered mostly for a few good seasons in Green Bay catching passes from Brett Favre.

The Falcons did not stop with the signing of Ferguson. It was later announced that Atlanta had also signed Marty Booker. Booker has started 116 games in his 141 game career. He has 523 catches for 6,522 yards and 36 touchdowns. He played six seasons in Chicago and four seasons in Miami.

The Falcons say the signings were more to replace Douglas rather than trying to move forward without Roddy White. Each day that White misses practice during camp, he is fined heavily. Eventually, one would think the two sides can come to an agreement.

Atlanta hasn't had to deal with a holdout issue this big since Jamal Anderson pulled his attempt after the Super Bowl. All Falcon fans remember how that turned out after he got his payday. Let's hope that fate doesn't go the same way if White does get his pay day.

Credit: D Orlando Ledbetter of