Posted: 10:54 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Report: Falcons are interested in Vilma, Dobbins, Angerer 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow knocks over a tackling dummy running a drill during team practice on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Flowery Branch. (By Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow knocks over a tackling dummy running a drill during team practice on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Flowery Branch. (By Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – With the season-ending Achilles tendon injury to linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, the Falcons are checking out the veteran free agent market in what one agent called a “four or five player Gong Show.”

Click here to read about the Falcons internal options.

Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Tim Dobbins and Pat Angerer are being considered, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, who cited sources close to the Falcons. Also, the Falcons had previously worked out linebacker Dan Connor.  

Vilma, 32, is 6-1, 230 pounds, is a 10-year veteran. He’s a former three-time Pro Bowler, but he has health concerns. He played just one game last season because of a knee injury.

He was a first-round pick by the New York Jets in 2004. He’s started 121 games over his NFL career, which was marred by his role in the Saints’ Bounty Gate scandal.

Dobbins, 31, a former fifth-round pick in 2005 by San Diego, has played for the Chargers, Miami and Houston. He played inside linebacker for Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, while in Miami in 2010.

Angerer, 27, is a former second-round pick by the Colts in 2010. He’s played in 54 games and made 39 starts.

Connor, 28, is a former third-round pick by the Panthers in 2008.  He’s also had stints with Dallas and the New York Giants. He started 28 games and played in 62.

PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM

–Today, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (3 practices, 2 walk-throughs over three days)  (Walk-through and Practice)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp. (Walk-through and Practice)

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

–June 22 through 28 – Rookie Symposiumin, Aurora, Ohio.

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.

PRACTICES WITH TEXANS — Wednesday, August 13 and Thursday, August 14.

THE LATEST FROM OTAS

Sean Weatherspoon suffers season-ending Achilles injury

What’s next for Sean Weaatherspoon?

What’s next for the Falcons at linebacker?

Javier Arenas gets to watch longtime role model

Falcons cut Szczerba, Yoklic

Falcons minicamp is open to the public

VIDEO CORNER

Sean Weatherspoon to miss 2014 season

Matt Ryan on Harry Douglas’ contribution to the offense

Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox

Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo

Falcons assistant head coach Terry Robiskie on Devin Hester

Falcons coach Mike Smith on OTAs

 DRAFT CLASS STORIES

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

21 comments
BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

We should have made a run at Branden Spikes even before Spoon got hurt(again).

This is why several bloggers criticized the unnecessary short term signings of the likes of M. Johnson, the Bear Jew, Jerry, Josh Wilson, etc. Those "small" contracts add up.

Spikes inked a 1 year deal in Buffalo. He's better than any of the players mentioned above.

I suppose if all else fails, Hair-Gel can pull the Channing Crowder card again. :(

slydawg
slydawg

I guess it goes without saying that next year's 1st round pick will either be OLB, ILB, or Safety. No other way around that.

notPlanB
notPlanB

Does anyone know why it took Southward so long to sign?

slydawg
slydawg

2-3 year project, like I said before last season. Yet no one wanted to stop drinking kool aid. The Falcons, and more specifically, it's GM, waited until it was too late to evaluate Weatherspoon's situation. What winning franchise constantly puts stock in oft-injured players? Signing Julio to big money may save money later, but he isn't worth it, IMHO. With these spread offenses everywhere, having an "uber" receiver is not a need, especially two. Should have traded Roddy when you had the chance. I'd hate to see him go but this is business. Trading down in the first round would have been a wiser decision to make. But they got "their guy." The "safe" pick. Well, TD and Smitty have a roster full of "their guys." How is that working out so far?

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Angerer sounds like a reasonable signing.  Pls, no more guys that come to practice in an ambulance.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Vilma would be good from an experience standpoint, but could his old body hold up. That's the million dollar question.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

Don't bring in any old, washed up over the hill Vets that no one wants.

Why is it so hard for TD to hit on some of his 5th and 6th round draft choices like the Seattle GM or the San Fran GM, that is the real reason this Roster is so depleted?

JackClemens
JackClemens

Angerer sounds like he might be worth a look. But, then again, there's a reason none of these guys is under contract.

gfw
gfw

Regarding Vilma:  what happened to the Falcons' mantra that Blank only wants "high character" guys?  Does that just go out the window when you need a LB?

syrupmaker
syrupmaker

We should have drafted Telvin Smith (LB) and Terrence Brooks (FS) from FSU.  Both are looking good in mini-camp flying all over the field for Jacksonville and Baltimore respectively.  While at the Branch, the scouting department mis-evalauted Shembo (switched inside after TD drafted him as a rush LB), still haven't signed the project called Dezmin Southward, and are now scouring the scrap heap for a veteran lb after seeing Spoon get carted off once again.  Did I mention Osi is our only proven pass rusher? 

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

Stay away from Vilma. Angerer might be a good pick. Linebackers and secondary could take a beating this year. Dline / ends look pretty solid.

WilliamBuchheit
WilliamBuchheit

We'll be the only pro team starting three undrafted linebackers.  Nolan will have to pull a miracle to keep this squad from being the league's worst defense. 

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

I say we coach up the players we now have. Stop bringing in players already knicked up. (see Asanta S.)

slydawg
slydawg

@notPlanB His agent trying to get more money. Also, a need to define his status: Special teamer or future starter?

JSSN
JSSN

@Quackmeyer

Two years of being injured and the LB starved Colts give up on you, but you say: "Pls, no more guys that come to practice in an ambulance?"

slydawg
slydawg

@RuePaulJohnson Look at the schools those players attended that Seattle selected as opposed to whom the Falcons select. There's your answer.

JSSN
JSSN

@Dasdguy

Too late, that is what happens when you make an injury prone player your defensive leader. Said it on Schultz's Weatherspoon article, all that is left is very injury prone! As much as I like Pat Angerer, he is Weatherspoon lite! Two straight seasons of getting injured. And with this Athletic Performance & Strength and Conditioning regime, heck no! That is Lofa Tatupu all over again! Sign Dobbins and try to train what you have with his familiarity of Nolan's defense

notPlanB
notPlanB

Thanks slydawg but aren't the salaries pretty much set by other signed players around or near your draft pick (#68)? STer or future starter doesn't have anything to do with salary does it?

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

@JSSN  I agree JSS, and if the big guys up front and at safety (a la FA and the draft) can step in the LB position might be a little easier for the Coons this year.  Add the year of NFL experience for our 2 corners and I think the D could be much improved from last year despite losing Spoon.

slydawg
slydawg

@notPlanB Yes it does: the amount of guaranteed money and signing bonuses matter. After the first two rounds, many rookies are not guaranteed a roster spot. The Falcons are in a unique situation of needing all of their picks to be somewhat productive. So the delay was over "what are your plans for my client" and the amount of guaranteed money. The total figures are slotted, yes, but not the guarantees and the incentives. So, the number of snaps he plays total, games started, which position, etc., will determine how he cashes in on incentives and guarantees.