Player News - Falcons

Date: Team: Pos:

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said he is "confident" the organization will work out a long-term extension with walk-year RB Devonta Freeman.

"Like I've said before, we want him here and he's a very important part of our organization," Dimitroff said on SiriusXM's Schein on Sports. "We're ready in the relatively near future to have some discussions with their representation." Freeman recently told ESPN's Josina Anderson he wants "elite" running back money, but that apparently has not discouraged the general manager. Dimitroff previously identified training camp as the likely timeframe for a deal to be struck.
May 20 - 10:10 AM

Devonta Freeman said the offense under new OC Steve Sarkisian will remain "pretty much the same."

"A few tweaks here and there," Freeman added, "but the majority of the same play calls, the same offense." That was always the expectation coming off an outstanding season, and Sarkisian has promised to be an "aggressive" play-caller like Kyle Shanahan before him. It is unlikely the Falcons score 540 points again, the eighth-highest total in NFL history, but they should remain one of the best offenses in the league.
Source: ESPN
May 18 - 10:31 AM

Devonta Freeman told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he wants "elite" running back money on a contract extension.

"I want to be the best," Freeman said. "I want to be elite paid. Whatever that is, that's where I want to be -- straight up." It's unclear what elite running back money is these days, but Le'Veon Bell is currently the highest paid at over $12 million on the franchise tag. LeSean McCoy and Doug Martin are Nos. 2 and 3 at $8.01 million and $7.15 million, respectively. That's likely the area Freeman wants to get to, though Lamar Miller's $6.5 million might make more sense. Freeman is hoping to land an extension this summer.
May 17 - 12:45 PM

Walk-year RB Devonta Freeman said he cannot ever see himself holding out.

"I'm a player," Freeman said. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Freeman has been clear about his desire for an extension, but he said he and the front office are on the same page. GM Thomas Dimitroff has said he expects an extension to be worked out around training camp. Freeman is scheduled to make $1.797 million this season.
May 16 - 12:38 PM

Falcons MLB Deion Jones said coach Dan Quinn wanted him to put on some weight this offseason.

Jones tipped the scales at 222 pounds at last year's Combine. He is already up to 230 pounds, and he said he could push 235 before the season. The added weight could help Jones stand up better against the run, but his athleticism will always be his calling card. In addition to the added weight, Jones has been tasked with becoming a more vocal leader as a sophomore.
May 16 - 12:30 PM

Falcons signed QB Matt Simms.

Simms spent all last summer with Atlanta, then was waived at final cuts. He'll again serve as a camp arm behind Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, and B.J. Daniels.
May 15 - 4:21 PM

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure expects 2016 sixth-rounder Wes Schweitzer to take over at right guard.

The Falcons did not enter the offseason with many needs, but the retirement of Chris Chester opened up a hole at right guard. Schweitzer was inactive for every game as a rookie, but he is expected to get the first crack at the starting job. Fourth-round rookie Sean Harlow will also be in the mix.
Source: ESPN
May 15 - 9:39 AM

Falcons signed third-round LB Duke Riley to a four-year contract.

A one-year starter at LSU, Riley goosed his draft stock with an excellent Combine and Senior Bowl. He'll begin his career as a special teamer, but has the skills and athletic profile to eventually make an impact on defense.
May 11 - 6:39 PM

Falcons signed fourth-round G/T Sean Harlow and fifth-round CB Damontae Kazee to four-year contracts.

Harlow will challenge for a spot along the interior line, as his size, short arms (32") and pedestrian athleticism make him ill-suited for tackle at the NFL level. Kazee was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. He's projected to work as a slot defender.
May 9 - 2:57 PM

Falcons C Alex Mack has recovered from the broken leg he suffered in the NFC Championship Game.

Mack played every snap in the Super Bowl despite the injury. He should be a full-go for the offseason program and ready to again anchor a quality offensive line.
May 2 - 1:57 PM

Falcons signed South Carolina LB Darius English.

English (6’5/248) served as a rotational rusher his first three seasons before breaking out as a fifth-year senior for team highs in tackles for loss (13), sacks (9), and forced fumbles (2). Not invited to the Combine, English showed well in the vertical (35") and broad (10’9") jumps at the Gamecocks’ Pro Day, but underwhelmed in the forty (4.84) and three-cone drill (7.36). English shows almost no run-defense capability on film and must add strength, but he offers long arms (35 1/8") and pass-coverage skills when asked to run with tailbacks in the flat. He is an intriguing flier pickup with some upside.
May 1 - 6:32 PM

Falcons signed San Diego State OT Daniel Brunskill.

Brunskill (6’5/273) spent his first three college seasons at tight end before moving to right tackle as a senior, where Brunskill earned second-team All-Mountain West and was charged with just one sack allowed. He shined as a run blocker at both tight end and tackle. Brunskill originally walked on at San Diego State after playing center in high school. Unless he can bulk up to 300-plus pounds and get significantly stronger, Brunskill will best project as a blocking tight end in the pros.
May 1 - 6:27 PM

Falcons selected Drake TE Eric Saubert with the No. 174 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Saubert (6’5/253) was a dominant receiving tight end in the Pioneer Football League, starting all four years and piling up a 56-776-10 (13.9 YPR) stat line as a redshirt senior. He was voted second-team All-America in the FCS in 2016. Saubert blazed 4.65 with a 33-inch vertical and 7.29 three-cone time at his Pro Day, showing NFL-level athleticism. Blessed with long arms (33 ½"), huge hands (10 3’8"), and smarts (35 Wonderlic score), Saubert offers big-time pass-catching traits. While an unlikely early-career contributor, Saubert is an intriguing project if he can handle the colossal jump in competition.
Apr 29 - 3:22 PM

Falcons selected Wyoming RB Brian Hill with the No. 156 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Hill (6’1/219) turned pro after rewriting the Wyoming record books in only three seasons, setting all-time school marks in rushing yards (4,287) and TDs (35), and averaging 5.53 yards per carry. He earned first-team All-Mountain West in 2016 and didn’t commit a single fumble on 357 touches. An above-par, 52nd-percentile SPARQ athlete with 4.54 speed and an explosive 10-foot-5 broad jump, Hill’s main drawback is his shortage of receiving production after managing eight receptions in his final year. He also received poor pass-protection grades from PFF College. Still, Hill’s combination of size, athleticism, and college dominance make him a compelling sleeper. In Atlanta, Hill immediately slots in as the Falcons' No. 3 back behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
Apr 29 - 2:36 PM

Falcons selected San Diego State CB Damontae Kazee with the No. 149 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Kazee (5’10/184) earned Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year in each of his final two seasons, setting a school record with 17 career interceptions as a three-year starter and four-year contributor. Kazee specialized in off-zone coverage at SDSU, playing almost strictly right outside corner. With a small build, short arms (30 7/8"), and 4.54 speed, Kazee best projects as an NFL slot defender. He is slightly old for a rookie, turning 24 in June. Kazee’s ball skills and tenacity give him legitimate NFL potential, but learning an entirely new position on the interior will pose a significant challenge.
Apr 29 - 2:16 PM


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