Posted: 11:39 am Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
UPDATE: 4:36 P.M: — The Falcons agreed to a five-year contract with offensive guard Jon Asamoah on Tuesday.
“We have agreed to a deal,” said Joe Panos, Asamoah’s agent. “Jon took less to go to Atlanta, flat out. The reasons are because number one, he knows they are going to win. The stability of the organization and the guy he’s blocking for, Matt Ryan and the coaching staff and Mike Tice.
“Those are the big reasons why he left money on the table to play in Atlanta. I think it says a lot about his character and what kind of man that he is.”
The Falcons later announced that they have agreed to terms with defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai.
Jackson received a five-year contract worth $25 million and Soliai’s deal is worth $33 million over five years with $14 million guaranteed, $11 million due in the first year.
Soliai received a $7 million signing bonus, $2 million roster bonus, $2 million guaranteed base salary in 2014, $3 million guaranteed base in 2015. There is $1 million in escalators for making the Pro Bowl.
“We were focused on adding pieces along our offensive and defensive lines and I feel we were able to accomplish that today,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released by the team. “We believe that Paul and Tyson will add stoutness and grittiness to our defensive front and will help in the run game. Jon is a solid offensive lineman that has started 41 games during his four-year career that will bring some ruggedness to our offensive front.”
The Falcons have been trying stabilize the right guard position for a few years.
“I think they are going to be set,” Panos said. “They should be good to go.”
Jackson, 6-4, 296 pounds, was originally selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round (third overall) of the 2009 NFL draft out of LSU. He has appeared in 74 games with 55 starts and tallied 190 tackles (138 solo), nine sacks, 12 passes defensed, along with 21 quarterback pressures in his five-year NFL career.
Soliai played under Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for two seasons in Miami (2010-11) when the Dolphins boasted one of the top defensive units in the NFL. In 2011, Soliai earned his first career Pro Bowl selection as part of a defense that ranked third against the run, allowing 95.6 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry.
“We are pleased to add Paul, Tyson and Jon to our roster,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team. “Paul has played for Coach Nolan in Miami and is familiar with our scheme, and Tyson is a good football player that will fit with what we want to do defensively as well. Jon is a physical, experienced offensive lineman that will add a veteran presence to our offensive line.”
EARLIER POST: The Falcons do not appear set to make any big splash moves in free agency. (Jairus Byrd and Alex Mack cost too much!)
They appear set to go the “solid football decision” route in 2014. Word is starting to get out that they will likely be two signings today. (Perhaps DT Paul Soliai.)
The Falcons have struggled to fill the right guard position and appear set to land one of Scott Pioli’s former draft picks in Kansas City guard Jon Asamoah, who was no longer wanted in Kansas City by the new John Dorsey-Andy Reid regime. He lost his position to journeyman Geoff Schwartz last season.
I think Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jeff Schultz will approve of the Asamoah signing, but he’s off worrying about some pitcher’s ligament injury. (Those wimpy baseball players. They don’t even get hit and they come up injured. Go figure!)
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzAJC) March 11, 2014
The Falcons have not commented about free agency recently and have declined several interview requests. Asamoah’s agent was contacted and he declined to comment, per the
team’s request, until after the 4 p.m. start of the new season. He did say that several teams were interested in his client.
Soliai folks said they were “chit chatting” with the Falcons during the negotiating period.
Garrett Reynolds, who’s been released by the Falcons, has opened the past three seasons as the starting right guard. He was not able to hold down the position.
San Francisco radio host John Middlekauff, a former NFL scout, tweeted that the Falcons will sign Asamoah for $4.5 million a year and that it is a “done deal.” Profootballtalk.com reported on the tweet also.
As I said last night sources say done deal w/ the #Falcons and OG Jon Asamoah for 4.5 million per year
— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) March 11, 2014
HOWEVER STAY TUNED! These unsourced tweets can be unreliable. This time yesterday,defensive end Michael Bennett was on the NFL Network acting like he was ready to sign with Chicago to play with his brother Martelius Bennett. Several folks reported that and he ended up taking less money to return to Seattle.
Until we hear from the Falcons or Asamoah’s agent only then will it be a “done deal.”
Asamoah was drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft by Pioli, when he was the Chiefs general manager. He was fired and joined the Falcons as the assistant general manager in January. Pioli, who watched the Chiefs roll to the playoffs last season with a lot of his players, spent last season out of football working in the media.
Asamoah, who turns 26 in July, played at Illinois and started 41 of 59 games with the Chiefs.