Player News - Falcons

Date: Team: Pos:

ESPN's Dianna Marie Russini reports the Falcons are "confident" of striking an extension with contract-year RB Devonta Freeman by the first week of training camp.

Freeman expressed a similar sentiment last week. It's clearly a priority for both sides. One of the league's most versatile backs, Freeman has earned a big payday after back-to-back huge years.
Jun 20 - 1:17 PM

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said fifth-round SCB Damontae Kazee "has done a good job" this offseason.

Undersized for a boundary corner in the Falcons' scheme, Kazee was initially tried at free safety before moving to slot corner at minicamp. "We are looking for the versatility in him," Quinn said. "He’s a very competitive guy. The more we throw at him, he’s ready for that challenge." Kazee probably will not earn a role this season, but he has long-term upside in Atlanta's up-and-coming defense.
Jun 19 - 11:46 PM

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said DT Grady Jarrett "totally jumped out" during the offseason program.

Coming off a dominant, three-sack performance in the Falcons' Super Bowl loss, Jarrett has apparently not slowed down this offseason. Already a force as both a run defender and pass rusher during his first two years, 24-year-old Jarrett has the talent to breakout as one the best defensive tackles in the league.
Jun 19 - 11:42 PM

Contract-year RB Devonta Freeman is optimistic about getting an extension done.

Freeman said "things look good" after speaking with GM Thomas Dimitroff. The Falcons haven’t been in a rush to extend Freeman, but talks should start to heat up before camp. Freeman is pushing for Doug Martin money ($7M annually).
Source: NFL.com
Jun 16 - 7:32 PM

Falcons QB/WR B.J. Daniels is now practicing at running back.

Daniels has bounced around teams since being drafted in 2013 by the 49ers. Daniels has been mostly used as a gadget player in wildcat formations, but coach Dan Quinn described Daniels as a running back. Daniels is a longshot for a roster spot on a loaded Falcons RB depth chart.
Jun 15 - 1:17 PM

Matt Ryan's 2016 touchdown rate (touchdowns/pass attempts) of 7.1 percent was nearly two full percentage points above his previous career high and 2.6 percent higher than Ryan's previous career average.

Whereas Ryan was a prime progression candidate entering 2016, he is a major regression candidate for 2017. Prior to last season, Ryan had never before finished above the fantasy QB7 in a nearly decade-long career. Ryan has now lost OC Kyle Shanahan, and Julio Jones underwent his third known left-foot surgery in March. You can read more about Ryan's 2017 outlook in Evan Silva's Falcons Fantasy Preview, accessible at the link below.
Jun 15 - 12:59 AM

Speaking at minicamp, Matt Ryan said sophomore TE Austin Hooper has improved "exponentially" this offseason.

Ryan expects Hooper to be "a big part of our offensive success this year," and said the second-year pro is "playing like a veteran out there." As a rookie, Hooper quickly emerged as one of the NFL's best blocking tight ends and flashed an ability to stretch the field. Hooper offers 2017 breakout potential.
Jun 13 - 9:51 PM

Taylor Gabriel has been sidelined by a "lower leg strain" at OTAs and minicamp.

It sounds like a calf injury. The Falcons are being cautious, but speedy guys like Gabriel always seem more susceptible to muscle pulls. He may not participate in minicamp this week, but Gabriel should be fine by July.
Jun 13 - 9:23 PM

New Falcons DT Dontari Poe triggered a $125,000 bonus by reporting to minicamp at the proper weight.

Poe needed to tip the scales at 340 or less. "It went pretty good," Poe said. "I'm where I need to be." Poe will have three more weigh-ins over the course of the 2017 league year. The ex-Chief is hoping to play at 330.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 13 - 6:32 PM

Julio Jones (foot surgery) is sitting out minicamp.

Jones underwent his third career left foot surgery on March 6. While the first two operations addressed fractures, Julio's latest surgery merely fixed a bunion on his foot. Jones should be full go for the start of training camp.
Jun 13 - 3:56 PM

New Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian wants to utilize Julio Jones more often in the red zone.

Jones recorded just six touchdowns last season in part because he was only targeted nine times in the red zone and six times inside the 10 -- Jordy Nelson led the league in both categories with 29 and 15 respectively. "When you have a player like Julio, it's making sure we maximize his opportunities," Sarkisian said. "Let's make sure he's one of the primary receivers on that play because it is such a tough matchup for anybody one on one." Already a top-three fantasy receiver, Jones has No. 1 overall potential if his touchdown production picks up.
Source: ESPN
Jun 8 - 11:36 AM

Julio Jones (foot) confirmed he'll be ready for the start of training camp.

Jones has battled extensive foot issues in the past, but the surgery he underwent earlier this offseason wasn't a big deal at all. He merely had a bunion removed from the foot, and the Falcons are simply nursing him along, as he has nothing to prove at OTAs and minicamp. "It was light. It wasn’t nothing," Jones said of the surgery. Jones admitted his past foot problems have arose from just being "so explosive," that "my feet can’t really take it" at times.
Jun 6 - 7:20 PM

Julio Jones (foot surgery) is still rehabbing.

Jones has been jogging at voluntary OTAs. He figures to be held out of minicamp, but appears on track for training camp.
Jun 6 - 2:04 PM

Falcons DE Derrick Shelby (Achilles') was back on the practice field Tuesday.

Shelby was almost certainly limited less than eight months removed from an Achilles' tear, but it is still a big step in the correct direction. A disappointment even before the injury, Shelby may need a strong camp to keep his roster spot.
Jun 6 - 12:47 PM

Falcons LCB Desmond Trufant (chest) is participating in Tuesday's practice.

Trufant will likely be limited, but it is a big step in the right direction after a torn pectoral ended his 2016 campaign, especially considering he was expected to be held out of OTAs. Fresh off a five-year, $69 million extension, Trufant should be close to full health when training camp rolls around.
Jun 6 - 12:34 PM


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