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Falcons could have tough tag decision between Grimes and Lofton

Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants Getty Images

Brent Grimes is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in football. He’s easily the best player in Atlanta’s secondary. Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton has been a defensive cornerstone since he joined the Falcons four years ago.

Surely, the Falcons would like to keep both impending free agents. Perhaps they will, but they can only use one franchise tag.

This creates a situation that is somewhat similar to what’s happening in New Orleans. There is more pressure on the Saints to sign Drew Brees quickly so they can use their tag on either Marques Colston or Carl Nicks. (Although Brees’ contract talks are not moving fast.)

We’d argue that Grimes and Lofton are both worthy of the franchise tag, but Grimes is the more important player to keep. Grimes also figures to be tougher to re-sign because cornerbacks are a lot more attractive on the open market compared to inside linebackers.

The Falcons should decide which player is more palatable to sign quickly, make a deal, and franchise the other defender. If they have to choose, go with Grimes.

The Atlanta Journal-Consistution broke down all of Atlanta’s free agents, with Grimes and Lofton leading the way. Other interesting names: pass rusher John Abraham, center Todd McClure, wideout Harry Douglas, and defensive end Kroy Biermann.

This looks like a transitional year for the Dimitroff/Smith era with new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

The Falcons have enjoyed great stability the last few seasons, but they sound ready to make some significant changes after another early playoff exit.

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14 Responses to “Falcons could have tough tag decision between Grimes and Lofton”
  1. We'reFineThere says: Feb 7, 2012 11:24 AM

    Curtis Lofton will be coming to Philadelphia as a player/coach.

  2. ingraven says: Feb 7, 2012 11:26 AM

    They NEED significant changes to be made. They are ALWAYS praising Matt Ryan and saying he is better than Flacco, but Ryan seems to ALWAYS be one and DONE. Flacco wins. Regular AND post-season.

  3. nomorewhodey says: Feb 7, 2012 11:31 AM

    Atlanta gonna be in some trouble might sign 2-3 on that list of impact players. Grimes, mcclur, harry prob all walk not enough cap for all these guys unless they take a pay cut

  4. haileli says: Feb 7, 2012 11:38 AM

    Didn’t the Falcons just sign Dunta Robinson to a huge contract? I’m not going to pretend like I know what the Falcons’ cap situation looks like, but paying 2 CBs big time open market money could really hinder their ability to improve other units.

  5. cmack21 says: Feb 7, 2012 11:44 AM

    doesnt really matter who they choose. they will get beat down in the playoffs again. easily the most over-rated team in the nfl

  6. santolonius says: Feb 7, 2012 11:45 AM

    the falcons need to get aggressive. for way too long this team (and this city’s pro sports as a whole) has been far too willing to accept a B+ and call it a day. that mentality has to end. from players to coaches, anyone who is satisfied with a B+ needs to be run out of town on a rail.

  7. breadslicer says: Feb 7, 2012 11:48 AM

    I concur: go with Grimes.

  8. ebeg420 says: Feb 7, 2012 12:03 PM

    Eagles will sign Lofton, Falcons will tag Grimes…..
    Falcons will bring Channing Crowder back with Mike Nolan….

    But anyway, the Falcons stink, regardless!!

  9. notthekiller says: Feb 7, 2012 12:11 PM

    It is baffling to see how the Falcons come up so small in the playoffs, I mean the have to have one of the most talented teams in the NFL! Matt Ryan better start showing up for them to make a jump to the next level!

  10. ravenscaps48 says: Feb 7, 2012 12:22 PM

    One of those guys are landing in Baltimore… We’re cutting Foxworth and Carr, so we need a Corner. And Foster could be a suitable replacement for Lewis

  11. tjp2033 says: Feb 7, 2012 12:22 PM

    As an Eagles fan, I hope they tag Grimes. It helps two-fold for them

    Falcons tag Grimes

    1. Eagles at least get a shot to sign Lofton (He would be a huge upgrade at LB for them)
    2. Eagles have a better market for Asante Samuel

    Falcons tag Lofton
    1. Eagles have 1 less solid option to go after at the LB position
    2. Eagles will potentially have a smaller market to trade Asante.

  12. blacknole08 says: Feb 7, 2012 1:05 PM

    The Falcons need to figure out a way to keep BOTH players. Lofton is the cornerstone of that defense and the next Jessie Tuggle. Grimes is vastly underrated and should definitely get the franchise tag.

  13. steviaquinn says: Feb 7, 2012 2:12 PM

    People Criticizing Matt Ryan just dont watch the games. They are knowledgeable. In These playoffs we have seen Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers look mediocre when their receivers dont catch the ball. The problem is that his receivers lead the league in drops and second place isnt even close. Roddy White is basically a extra defensive back for the defense

  14. steviaquinn says: Feb 7, 2012 2:12 PM

    People Criticizing Matt Ryan just dont watch the games. They are unknowledgeable. In These playoffs we have seen Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers look mediocre when their receivers dont catch the ball. The problem is that his receivers lead the league in drops and second place isnt even close. Roddy White is basically a extra defensive back for the defense

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