Monday, January 21, 2013
Atlanta's offseason decisions
By Tim Kavanagh
As we begin to project what the Atlanta Falcons will look like in 2013, the change that will gather the most attention in the coming weeks is the potential retirement of TE Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez was still performing at a high level up until the very end of the Falcons' run in 2012, but he's got a lot of mileage on his body at this point. However, he's not the only question for GM Thomas Dimitroff and Co. to answer this offseason.
The Falcons' class of impending free agents includes four key starters, two apiece on offense and defense. Offensively, starting LT Sam Baker and C
Troy Todd McClure. Of the two, Baker -- who turns 28 this offseason -- seems like more of a priority than McClure, who'll turn 36 in February. Depending on what they do in free agency and the draft, the Falcons could consider moving RG Peter Konz -- who was a center at Wisconsin -- over to C next season.
On the defensive side, the Falcons' secondary is set to endure the biggest hit, as CB Brent Grimes and S William Moore are impending UFAs. Grimes -- the club's franchise taggee in 2012 -- was injured early on, but will certainly draw significant interest if left unprotected. A second-straight tag is unlikely, so if he's back, it'll likely be on a multi-year pact. On the other hand, Moore may be under consideration as this year's recipient of the franchise tag. According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the 2013 franchise tag value for safeties will be $6.798 million, a good value for Atlanta. Given Moore's injury history prior to this season, they may be cautious in doling out a multi-year deal to him; the tag would allow them another season to utilize him without a long-term commitment.