Falcons won’t overpay to keep Curtis Lofton, John Abraham

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Curtis Lofton and John Abraham are both stalwarts of Atlanta’s defense, but as free agency approaches, the Falcons seem willing to let both of them walk.

The Falcons are widely expected to use the franchise tag to keep one soon-to-be free agent, cornerback Brent Grimes. But Lofton and Abraham are also soon-to-be free agents, and the Falcons aren’t planning to overpay to keep either one of them.

Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Falcons won’t be crushed if Lofton leaves because many within the Falcons organization believe that Lofton is a liability against the pass. That doesn’t mean the Falcons won’t make any effort to re-sign Lofton, but it sounds like the Falcons are going to be willing to let Lofton test the market, and if some team offers him more than the Falcons think he’s worth, they’ll say goodbye and put Akeem Dent, a third-round draft pick last year who played in all 16 games as a rookie, in the middle linebacker spot.

As for Abraham, who has led the team in sacks for two straight years, the Falcons apparently think he’s too one-dimensional and, at 33, too old. Abraham will apparently need to see if some other team wants a situational pass rusher who turns 34 in May.

For the Falcons, who traded away this year’s first-round draft pick as part of the deal to acquire Julio Jones last year, free agency will be their best chance to improve the roster. But at the moment, the talk in Atlanta is more about which free agents the Falcons will be losing.

18 responses to “Falcons won’t overpay to keep Curtis Lofton, John Abraham

  1. If the Falcons don’t want Lofton, I’m sure the Eagles would love to have him, he’s better than anything we have now.

  2. I do not see Atl using the Franchise Tag on Grimes. I am not sure where “widely expected” comes from. Grimes is a solid player in the soft zone scheme, but Mike Nolan is known to favor the press coverage scheme and Grimes just does not have the strength to play that game. He is also going to be 29 prior to camp and coming off knee surgery. Stanford Routt is not as good as Grimes, but Grimes is not 3 times better than Routt. Routt’s CAP number is just over 3 million for 2012. There is just NO way that ATL is going to tie up 1/12th of their CAP with Grimes. I say they see what offers he receives and that they match up to 4 million, otherwise they let him walk and give Dominique Franks, the 3rd year Corner out of Oklahoma that side of the field. He is a few inches taller and 20 lbs heavier than Grimes and matches up against todays bigger receivers better than Grimes. His CAp hit is 10 million less than that of a franchised Grimes. The Falcons would be better suited to spend those dollars on either a pass rusher or a solid gaurd or tackle that will give Matt Ryan time to get the ball downfield.

  3. Well said captatl!! Grimes is as good as gone. Unfortunently, this is going to be a transitional year as we are going to be parting with a huge amount of starters.

  4. Lofton is welcome here in Minny, we need some impact linebackers. And I’m not sure when Abraham became a one trick pony, if the guy is healthy he is a beast!

  5. Wishful thinking: Giants trade Osi for a couple of picks, sign John Abraham to be the third rusher.


  6. I believe you are correct in that assesment beckzhere. I like Lofton as a leader, but he is not worth more than 4 million a year, if that. Last years best LB in FA was Stephen Tulloch, and he got 3.25 million for 1 year. He had a better year in his last year prior to free agency than Lofton did last year. Like I said, I like Lofton, but at the right price. If the Eagles, Browns, or Saints, want to over pay for him….. then good luck. We all know free agency is a crap shoot most of the time and that the more you pay them does not always equate to more production than you had prior in that position. As for John Abraham, make him a fair offer and be prepared to let him walk. I think he has some left in the tank but not an every down player at 34. Bottom line, is that the scheme should make the DE’s better this year. The pressure that the corners will put on the WR’s inside 5 yards will give the DE’s another step and a half and will cause the Qb’s to get rid of the ball quicker rather than playing pitch and catch like last years soft zone permitted.

  7. @captatl

    You make some really valid points bro. I like your in-depth analysis – You and I should converse here in the Atl…In regards to Brent Grimes – he is by far the best corner on our team. His size is irrelevant when that ball is in the air. He’s not a press guy – he uses the trail technique where he mirrors whatever you do. (And he’s dang good at it) He can outjump anyone regardless of height. Ask Colston! If you outjump Carolina Steve Smith – you know you can sky!

    Dominique Franks is a taller corner – but that ain’t worth the price of tea in china bro. He’s not fluid in his transitions at all. He will be a liability just like that bust on the other side. (Should’ve kept Chris Houston the real #23) The whole defensive backfield is suspect in my opinion. I like Decoud but he’s only a decent player. Will Moore has potential. Other than that, err?!?! I don’t see that problem being fixed by next year. Letting Lofton go is kinda weird. ‘Spoon is the only IMPACT player on the D. He makes big plays – we need another guy who can make something happen. Edwards was the worst p/u since #23. The whole D now that I think about it is suspect. smh – follow me on t w i t t e r @D3murf

  8. Why do I want to follow anyone on twitter because they post here?
    If the coach wants you to play in a press system and you cant, it does not matter how good your trail technique is.
    Yes the Falcons secondary is suspect. We’ll see who Nolan believes can do what his approach needs done. Someone who fit the porn star mustache’s system and did well may stink in Nolan’s and vice versa,
    Abraham cant play on all downs and can’t stay healthy playing the limited downs he does. It’s why the Jets let him walk in the first place.
    The Falcons have a bad free agent history under this regime/owner.
    I belived in the Jones trade because I bought the line they would make up for the lost draft picks with an increase in FA signings. Did not see the increase last year and the quality of signings remains questionable.
    Biggest hope is the changes in OC and DC proves the signings were good and the coaches were not.
    But the fact that Decoud and Grimes are where people point to as the top of the heap spells trouble. You dont want to start with those guys when discussing how good your defense is.

  9. pftstory says:
    Feb 22, 2012 4:36 PM
    Why do I want to follow anyone on twitter because they post here?

    Uhh I wasn’t talking to you man. I was referring to the guy who I mentioned at the beginning of my post…If the coach wants you to play press yet your roster is not built for that – you will look how the Eagles secondary looked. The guy makes plays from a trail technique and gets his hands on a lot of passes – I’m sure Nolan would adjust. Just like the Eagles eventually did.

    I said Decoud is decent. The best players on that side of the ball is Spoon, Grimes & Babs imo. Abe fell off again. Decoud has good hands and will always intercept atleast 4-5 passes b/c of it. He is often out of place on pass d. He can stick the run decent. Moore looks like a player – but the rest of those cats ain’t putting business in. Lofton is pretty good going fwd on a play. If hehas to retreat and play the pass…Err

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