Posted: 11:39 am Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

FREE AGENCY FRENZY: Asamoah, Jackson and Soliai agree to deals with Falcons 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Perhaps Jon Asamoah can stablize the problematic right guard spot for the Falcons.

Perhaps Jon Asamoah can stabilize the problematic right guard spot for the Falcons.

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.

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai (96) looks up at the scoreboard during the final minutes of an NFL football game,  Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Miami.(AP Photo/Rhona Wise)

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai (96) looks up at the scoreboard during the final minutes of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Miami.(AP Photo/Rhona Wise)

“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!) 

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

SEPTEMBER 2012 FILE PHOTOGRAPH/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tyson Jackson, drafted by Kansas City third overall in 2009, has agreed to terms with the Falcons.

SEPTEMBER 2012 FILE PHOTOGRAPH/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tyson Jackson, drafted by Kansas City third overall in 2009, has agreed to terms with the Falcons.

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.

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.

244 comments
FlatsLine
FlatsLine

Pretty clear Pioli's prints are all over these signings.  Gotta love the assertive moves.

This has a good breakdown of what each player will bring to the Dome next year (http://bit.ly/Pu8G19)

MikeS777
MikeS777

Good start here.  Keep grabbing those lineman.  I'd like to see the Falcons look at Julius Peppers who just got released by Chicago as well.  Ware looks like he might be headed to Denver.  Just keep stocking lineman on both sides of the ball.  If they can solidify both fronts, this team will be back in the playoffs next year.

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Now lets draft Mack ( U of Buffalo ) with that first pick or a top rated O-Lineman.  I see the Falcons closing the gap here in the last few days.

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Linemen, linemen, linemen.....Here we go!.......Go Falcons!

kls82883
kls82883

Lol. The Saints sign a FS for almost $10mil/yr. The guy is 27. They are paying for diminishing returns. The second to last thing you want to do, specifically when you're cap-strapped, is over pay a FA that's on the downward slide to 30. The very last thing you want to do is over pay for a freaking FS. I cannot wait until Brees begins to regress. It will be nice to see NO return to their glory days of 1 and 2 win seasons. Your window is closing b****es.

HotDawg
HotDawg

1 or 2 players do not make a line.

Quite a few more line positions to fill.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Buy a few consonants for their names.

JSSN
JSSN

Get ready for STB4...Saints just inked Byrd!

MikeisBack
MikeisBack

NOW THAT'S WHAT'EM TALKING BOUT!


RISE UP TD...LET'S GO...LET'S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

With Decoud gone, I'd like to get Jairus Byrd but I think that's wishful thinking.  Chris Clemons' name is still out there and the Eagles just released Patrick Chung.  Not Byrd quality options, but interesting and worth looking into.

mic404
mic404

Call me crazy but Sammy Watkins becomes a real possibility now that the Falcons have there OL, DE, AND DT.

TrueFalconFan
TrueFalconFan

SERIOUS STATEMENT

The Falcons must do something about training and rehab. These are not Spring Chickens, if Marty Lauzon does not keep these folks healthy and on the field, it is all for nothing!


The Harlequin is a copy cat ---- 



Go Falcons

Contractor1
Contractor1

I would take Clowney if available. Take Cyrus Kouandjio in the second round if he's available. Doctor said his knee has no issues, he simply has to get back into shape, but would be a steal in the second round. I think we should wait till next year to draft a running back with Yeldon and Gurley coming out.

AHLong
AHLong

Love it!  Love all the moves!  I would have loved Byrd or Mack, but both are going to cost a fortune; way more than is smart to pay at those positions.  


Plus, the logic on the defensive side is clear.  The Falcons are moving to a 3-4.  And, Kalil Mack would be a PERFECT fit for that scheme.  Get ready ATL, even if Clowney is there at 6, the Falcons will be taking Mack (or Barr, but hopefully Mack).  Clowney needs to put his hand on the ground and would not fit in with a 3-4.  Plus, the writing is on the wall for Osi and Biermann, but Biermann might be able to play a backup OLB in a 3-4 though.  


Next, we need to bring in Clemons at safety, maybe add another OT in the 2nd round of the draft and we'll be good to go.


Feelin' much better today.  

RickinGrayson
RickinGrayson

Please TD...don't move up for Clowney!  Take him if he's there, but we need the picks.  We can get very good players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.  Don't trade those picks away.

Dsyelxia
Dsyelxia

I guess they won't be trading up to get Clowney now.

Aw, shucks!

UGA76
UGA76

OK, we should have a pretty good idea what the draft picks will cost us.  With the resigned guys, the 3 new contract guys and the cuts where does Atlanta stand with the salary cap?  That determines what else if anything we can still do. 

JSSN
JSSN

Estimates

Started the day with (Approx. $18.6M in Cap Space) 

Add $3M for DeCoud release, tomorrow (at 4PM when waivers clear) add $7M for Gonzalez

Soliai Cap Hit $9.4M

Need to know the guarantees on the others to know the approximate Cap numbers.

SERIOUS STATEMENT

The Falcons must do something about training and rehab. These are not Spring Chickens, if Marty Lauzon does not keep these folks healthy and on the field, it is all for nothing!

JerryMcCrary
JerryMcCrary

falcons better not let the saints sign byrd

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

You just can't get any bigger than Paul Soliai

RBI
RBI

Per ESPN --- Soliai's deal is for five years and $33 million, with $14 million guaranteed and $11 million coming in the first year, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

reallygroovy
reallygroovy

THE FALCONS , who is going to be the tight end this year ,?, who is the running back besides steven Jackson , the falcons need a good running back, a fullback, is Hawley going to play center?  what about mack at center ?

reallygroovy
reallygroovy

HOW MUCH CAP SPACE DOES FALCONS HAVE LEFT DOES ANYBODY KNOW ?

BigAlHeBDMan
BigAlHeBDMan

@kls82883  I guess they decided they want to win now rather than later. With Vacarro and Byrd, it looks like their game plan is to mirror Seattle's defense. If you can't beat them, join them. 

AHLong
AHLong

They need an OLB because they're clearly switching to the 3-4. Probably, Khalil Mack

KDinFL
KDinFL

@mic404  Yeah you're crazy.  If they draft another WR they should fire the whole admin staff.  Already have enough WR's.  Don't have any pass rushers.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Mic404......I won't call you crazy.

If you're Hair-Gel, at the very least you've gotta consider the #1 playmaker in the draft.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@mic404  Still don't have that true pass rushing DE. Tyson Jackson is very physical against the run but only has 9 sacks in 5 seasons. Not much of a pass rusher. 


And don't assume the OL is taken care of just by one signing. We still have work to do there IMO. DT could be set with Babineaux, Peters, and now Soliai. Not to mention Travian Robertson and Cliff Matthews already on the roster. 


Still work to do. And I don't believe we'd have the audacity to take Watkins when we could get a guy like Khalil Mack. 

DirtyBird504
DirtyBird504

@tyger Falcons are not looking for a pass rush from him.  DE in 3-4 are supposed to be run stoppers.  If KC wanted him to be a pass rushing DE, then they should have ran the 4-3 defense.

kerryb
kerryb

@Dsyelxia  Lets hope that the Vikings at #8 want someone they think the Bucs are going to pick.  The Falcons drop back to 8th, pick up the Vikings 2nd round pick and have 3 picks in the top 40.

kerryb
kerryb

@Dsyelxia  If they can trade back a couple of places and pick up someones 2nd round pick in the top 10 then they can build some real depth.

kerryb
kerryb

@JerryMcCrary  They just said he is visiting them today but they only have 2 million of cap space.

AtlantaStu
AtlantaStu

@reallygroovy  Let me see if I can help, Groovy. (1) Levine Toilolo is TE. He's no Gonzo, but who is? He is, however, tall, rangy, and a good blocker. Fine by me. Ryan depended too much on Gonzo. Maybe now he will throw deep
(2) Rodgers is behind Jackson, and has proved to be a strong receiver. Antone Smith is also there, and he proved to be a monster runner in his short playing time
(3) Bradie Ewing is FB. He was one of those hurt all season in 2013
(4) Hawley and Konz will fight it out for Center. GOOD! Last year, the job was given to Konz. This year, he will have to earn it. Either one should be better now that the Birds signed Asamoah at RG
(5) Mack was hit with the Franchise Tag by Cleveland. He's going nowhere

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

@reallygroovy  


RB's are a dime a dozen. However, I think we'll see more of Antoine Smith this year which would be fine with me.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@reallygroovy  Well they just released Decoud and Gonzalez which should clear $10 million just by those cuts. We should have in the 20's

ATL89
ATL89

@BigAlHeBDMan @kls82883 Free Agents' who are looking for a huge pay day NEVER PAN-OUT, and  besides what happens when one or both of them gets hurt!

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

@DawgGoneIt @mic404 I think based on what's transpired today, Dimitroff is going to go get Mack in the draft.  They could go with Robinson or Matthews but Sam Baker just got a lengthy extension last year and they still believe he's "the guy" at LT.

mic404
mic404

@DawgGoneIt @mic404 Falcons definitely won't take a OL with the first pick now, and what if Clowney and Mack are off the board. Watkins is the most talented offensive player in this draft!!! 

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@mic404  Excuse me Tyson Jackson only has 7 sacks in 5 seasons. Not good at all. But like I said, not much of a pass rusher

kerryb
kerryb

@Dsyelxia  There will still be 1st round talent in the first 15 picks of round 2.

JSSN
JSSN

@AtlantaStu @DawgGoneIt @reallygroovy  

You can't track the Cap like Baseball signings. Until the NFLPA releases the contract details, you're just guessing. By all good sense, the Falcons should have front loaded the Solilai deal and taken the Cap Number at $9,6M across the board. Instead, they are taking $5.4M and $4.4M Cap numbers for the first two years, then it is going balloon the last 3 years at the same time Ryan's big numbers kicks in. You've already used any cap savings that gained from cuts in what guarantees are applied to cap. The Falcons are cap manipulating by deferring cap hits.

Trackbacks

  1. […] this one away for later use. Jon Asamoah‘s agent, Joe Panos, tells D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Asamoah left money on the table to go sign with […]

  2. […] Asamoah signing had been rumored for some time and seemed to make too much sense on paper for it not to […]

  3. […] – The Atlanta Falcons signed three players on the first day of Free Agency. The moves look to bolster both the offensive and defensive lines. […]