Falcons Might Dump McClure For Newberry

The Atlanta Falcons quietly have been dealing with a messy situation in the center of their offensive line.

Per a league source, long-time starting center Todd McClure has been boycotting offseason workouts.  We’re told that he is contemplating retiring or holding out if he doesn’t get a new contract.

Per NFLPA records, McClure is under contract for three more seasons, at salaries of $1.4 million in 2009, $1.6 million in 2010, and $1.7 million in 2011.

We’re also told that the Falcons aren’t inclined to give him a new deal, and that they’ll commence the process of searching for potential replacements by kicking the tires on Jeremy Newberry, an 11-year veteran (and two-time Pro Bowler) who appeared in 16 games with the Chargers last season, starting three.

After missing all of the 2006 season due to microfracture surgery in his knee, Newberry started 14 games for the Raiders in 2007.

McClure joined the Falcons as a seventh-round pick in 1999.  He has started every game since 2002 and started 15 in 2001.

If the Falcons intend to not call McClure’s bluff, the alternatives are limited.  Beyond Newberry, the list of available veteran centers includes Melvin Folwer, Eric Giachiuc, Matt Lehr, and Cory Withrow.

9 responses to “Falcons Might Dump McClure For Newberry

  1. Alex Stepanovich, the Falcon’s reserve center this past season, has starting experience. Not a long-term solution, but can keep the seat warm for a draft pick like Alex Mack, but at #24 in the first round that may be too high for him. McClure is long in the tooth anyway, a fine player all these years, but the Falcon’s don’t need such distractions and his replacement needed to be found, unfortunately sooner rather than later.

  2. Hi, I’m Todd McClure, you might remember me from such football teams as the Atlanta Falcons, and the Louisiana State Tigers!

  3. hey florio you forgot to do you hommework again!
    your beginning to be like ESPN and NFLN and not in the good way
    the falcons as stated above have stepnanavich also they just signed brent romberg (as reported here) who started at center for the rams last year
    we will be fine, but mcclure did play well last year and I am not in favor of us getting rid of him

  4. McClure must be really bad if they’re thinking about replacing him with Newberry.

  5. Not just this story but lots of similar ones show what a different world some people are living in. A time when one out of every 11 persons can’t find a job, and many of those who are working are barely scraping by, and some guy is talking about quitting because he “only” makes a little over $1 million a year. A-mazing.

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