Player News - Falcons

Date: Team: Pos:

Speaking Thursday, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said he believed Tevin Coleman could remain a part of the team's backfield beyond 2018.

Specifically, Dimitroff said he could see Coleman and Devonta Freeman having a future together. We're not buying it. 2018 is Coleman's contract year, and Freeman just got $22 million guaranteed last summer. Dimitroff was basically saying what he needed to say at a season-ending press conference.
Jan 18 - 2:34 PM

Devonta Freeman (MCL, PCL) does not require surgery.

Freeman finished the season playing through MCL and PCL sprains. Including the postseason, he averaged just 2.64 yards per carry over his final four games. Freeman should be ready to rock for the offseason program.
Jan 18 - 2:25 PM

Speaking Thursday, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said his "main focus" this offseason will be extending contract-year QB Matt Ryan.

Going on 33, Ryan followed up his MVP 2016 with a disappointing 20-score campaign but didn't take any physical steps backward. He had the looks of a player who should remain the answer under center for at least 2-3 more seasons. Any extension would have to make Ryan one of the 2-3 highest-paid players in the league.
Jan 18 - 1:32 PM

Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian will be retained for 2018.

"Placing blame on one person would be wrong in this instance," coach Dan Quinn said Thursday. "If this was about one person, that decision would’ve already been made." Sark had been loosely connected to the Seahawks' offensive coordinator vacancy, but Pete Carroll hired Brian Schottenheimer. The Falcons' offense took a mammoth step backward this season, with its points per game dropping from 34 to 22. Matt Ryan and company were always expected to regress in 2017, but the fall off was far more dramatic than expected. Sark will be on the spot in 2018.
Jan 18 - 1:13 PM

Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong will have a second interview for the Cardinals' head-coaching vacancy.

Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak was also offered a second interview, but declined the invitation. Armstrong has over two decades of NFL experience but has never been a head coach. Patriots LBs coach Brian Flores and Panthers DC Steve Wilks have also been linked to the opening in Arizona.
Jan 17 - 6:52 PM

Falcons signed QB Garrett Grayson, S Marcelis Branch, OL Daniel Brunskill, CB Deante Burton, WR Reggie Davis, TE Alex Gray, DL Joey Ivie, DL J.T. Jones and DL Taniela Tupou to reserve/future contracts.

The No. 75 overall pick of the 2015 draft, Grayson quickly flamed out in New Orleans. He spent 2017 on the Falcons' practice squad.
Jan 15 - 2:13 PM

Devonta Freeman revealed that he played the end of the season with sprains to both his MCL and PCL.

Freeman clearly lacked explosiveness in Atlanta's playoff loss to Philadelphia, and he was limited in practices leading up to both the Wild Card and Divisional Rounds. "I hope I don't have to," Freeman said of the possibility of undergoing offseason surgery. We suspect Freeman will be all systems go for OTAs.
Jan 13 - 9:46 PM

Taylor Gabriel caught 2-of-3 targets for four yards in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles.

A 2016 game-breaker, both Gabriel's usage and effectiveness took a step back under new OC Steve Sarkisian. Gabriel's yards per catch crashed from 16.5 to 11.5. Headed to free agency, the big-play specialist turns 27 in February.
Jan 13 - 8:35 PM

Justin Hardy was held without a catch in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles.

The Falcons' No. 4 receiver, Hardy remained well behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel this season. He ceded some Divisional Round slot snaps to Nick Williams, and might not be a lock to keep his job for 2018, the final year of his rookie contract.
Jan 13 - 8:32 PM

Austin Hooper caught 1-of-1 targets for three yards in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles.

The No. 81 overall pick of the 2016 draft, Hooper took a step forward as a sophomore, nearly doubling his yardage from 271 to 526. His numbers came in stops and starts as the Falcons' offense oscillated between competent and disappointing. A playmaker at Stanford who graded out well at the Combine, Hooper's development is right on track. He could emerge as a TE1 for fantasy purposes in 2018. The Falcons need a pass catcher to step up behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and their running backs.
Jan 13 - 8:25 PM

Mohamed Sanu caught 3-of-5 targets for 50 yards in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles.

Locked in as the Falcons' No. 2 receiver, Sanu duplicated his 2016 stats, going from 59/653/4 to 67/703/5. He was one of the only players not to see his numbers fall off under new OC Steve Sarkisian. Signed for over $6 million each of the next three seasons, Sanu is probably ultimately unlikely to finish out his "five-year, $32.5 million" contract, but will be back for his scheduled $6 million for his age-29 campaign in 2018. The Falcons could use another playmaker at wideout.
Jan 13 - 8:19 PM

Tevin Coleman rushed 10 times for 79 yards in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles, adding a 14-yard reception.

Coleman remained the 1B to Devonta Freeman's 1A this season, essentially duplicating his 2016 numbers. His 927 yards from scrimmage were just 14 fewer than he posted during the Falcons' Super Bowl campaign. Still frustratingly boom or bust, Coleman saw his yards per carry dip to 4.02. He posted mixed results as a starter when Freeman missed Weeks 11 and 12 with a concussion. Headed into the final year of his rookie deal, Coleman's usage does not figure to change much in 2018.
Jan 13 - 8:11 PM

Devonta Freeman rushed 10 times for seven yards in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles, adding five receptions for 26 additional yards and a touchdown.

Freeman checked out a few times with an apparent (minor) injury. Although held below 1,000 yards rushing for the first time since his rookie season in 2014, Freeman remained an invaluable part of the Falcons' offense. He was missed during his two-game absence with a concussion in Weeks 11 and 12. Freeman also suffered a concussion in the preseason. The Falcons committed to Freeman after his return, but overall his usage was a bit inconsistent under new OC Steve Sarkisian. With Tevin Coleman continuing to improve, that could remain a theme for Freeman in the final year of Coleman's rookie deal next season. Freeman will begin the year on the RB1/2 borderline in fantasy.
Jan 13 - 8:05 PM

Julio Jones caught 9-of-16 targets for 101 yards in the Falcons' Divisional Round loss to the Eagles.

Jones went 9/90 in each of the Falcons' playoff games. Although Jones' 88/1,444/3 regular season carried an air of disappointment in fantasy football — three touchdowns, really? — Jones' 1,444 yards were second in the league, as well as the third most of his career. He's cleared 1,400 yards 4-of-4 years since his serious 2013 foot injury. One month shy of his 29th birthday, Jones has yet to display any physical drop-off. One of these years, he's going to regress to the touchdown mean and put up at least 10. He will remain a top-five fantasy wideout for 2018.
Jan 13 - 8:01 PM

Matt Ryan completed 22-of-36 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions in the Falcons' 15-10, Divisional Round loss to the Eagles.

Ryan couldn't bust any big plays and struggled in the red zone as the Falcons lost a game they probably should have won against a team starting its No. 2 quarterback. Ryan was a lock to fall back from his 2016 MVP campaign this season, but regressed well past the mean. His 4,095 yards were his fewest since 2010, while his 20 scores were his fewest since his rookie year. His YPA dropped nearly a yard and a half, tumbling from 9.26 to 7.74. All season, Ryan and the Falcons' passing attack were anemic in the red zone. Going on 33, Ryan did not exhibit any physical drop-off. He'll be a top 10-12 quarterback option in 2018 fantasy drafts.
Jan 13 - 7:54 PM


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