by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/20/14) It appears the Falcons will hold onto defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who had 7.5 sacks last year. Umenyiora, 32, would count $3.5 million against the cap in 2014.
Coach Mike Smith said Umenyiora did an "outstanding job" in his first season with Atlanta. "I am never gonna say never," Smith said, "but I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him."
Jonathan Babineaux hopes to return to Falcons
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/6/14) Free agent defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, who's spent his entire nine-year career with the Falcons, hopes to return to the team, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The paper says a two- or three-year deal seems workable for Babineaux, who's started every game the past two seasons.
Samuel, 33, was scheduled to make $5.25 million in salary and bonuses in 2014. He had 30 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and three passes defensed in 11 games last season.
Nicholas, 30, was set to earn $3 million and count $4 million against the cap. He had 36 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in 14 games last season.
Falcons want to retain Jonathan Babineaux
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (12/30/13) The Falcons don't want to let defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux get away in free agency. He had 42 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries this season.
“Jonathan has had a really nice season as far as the season we had,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “He was disruptive. He was healthy for the majority of the season and he did a really nice job for us. He’s almost becoming a little bit ageless. He’s fallen in line with Tony (Gonzalez) from the standpoint of, he’s produced very well with a lot of energy and a lot of passion and tenacity. It’d be nice to have him back.”
Sean Weatherspoon unable to go
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (12/25/13) Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who's been limited to seven games this year, did not participate in Wednesday's walkthrough due to a knee injury. His status for Sunday's finale vs. Carolina is uncertain at best.
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The Falcons DST was a Top 10 Fantasy option in 2012, and they have the chance to be a starting option again this season. They have a revamped secondary, and they tried to upgrade their pass rush with the addition of ex-Giant defensive end Osi Umenyiora. There are stats you'd like to see the Falcons improve on -- scoring on special teams and getting more than two defensive touchdowns -- but they were among the leaders in interceptions (No. 6) with 20 and points allowed (No. 5) with 299. If they can create more sacks (just 29) and find the end zone a couple more times they could emerge as an elite option. Consider the Falcons a late-round flier if you miss on the top DST units or grab them as a bye-week replacement during the year. (Updated 8/16/13)