FLOWERY BRANCH —Here are the five things you need to know on Tuesday about the Falcons after coach Dan Quinn had the final team meeting and the coaches started right away on the evaluations of the season. No. 1 evaluation priority, figure out what happened to the offense after it started the season averaging 32.4 points a game over the first five games before fizzling.
1. GENERAL MANAGER WATCH: The Falcons appear to be leaning toward retaining general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Owner Arthur Blank said he wanted to speak with Quinn before any decisions were made. He lauded the partnership that Quinn and Dimitroff formed this season and Quinn has publicly supported Dimitroff. Here are 10 reason to keep Dimitroff.
2. NO PAY CUT FOR WHITE: Falcons all-time leading wide receiver Roddy White told multiple outlets that he is not interested in taking a pay cut to return. His production dropped drastically from 80 catches in 2014 to 43 last season. White, who will turn 35 in November, has two years left on his contract. White signed a four-year, $30 million contract on July 24, 2014. He’s set to make $2.75 million plus a $1.5 million roster bonus in 2016 and $3 million plus a $1.5 million roster bonus in 2017. White has a cap number of $6.137,500 for 2016. If he’s traded or cut before June 1, the Falcons would have $3.775,000 in 2016 dead cap, with a savings of $2.542 million, according to spotrac.com which did an article taking an early look at potential 2016 salary cap casualties. If he’s traded or cut post June 1, the Falcons would have $1,887,500 in dead cap money with a $4.249 savings. Basically, if the Falcons sign receivers in free agency or draft one in the first or second round, White becomes expendable post-June 1.
3. RESERVE/FUTURES DEALS: Wide receiver C.J. Goodwin (California, Pa.), running back Gus Johnson (Stephen F. Austin), offensive guard Collin Rahrig (Indiana) and quarterback Matt Simms (Tennessee) were signed to reserve/future deals as the Falcons start to fix their offseason roster. Rahrig is intriguing. He blocked for Tevin Coleman at Indiana. “I was real happy to see him,” Coleman said after Rahrig was signed. “He just snuck up on me. I was real surprised to see his face. That made me smile a little bit.” He was on the line that pave the way for Coleman’s 2,000-yard season. “He’s real good,” Coleman said. “He’s tough and he’s physical. He’ll go all the way until the whistle. That’s what I love about him.”
4. SMITTY INTERVIEWED WITH THE DOLPHINS: Former Falcons coach Mike Smith, the winningest coach in franchise history, interviewed for the head coaching opening with the Miami Dolphins, the team confirmed. Smith went 66-46 with the Falcons and posted five consecutive winning seasons from 2008 to 2012 and took the Falcons to the NFC championship game. He was fired after going 4-12 and 6-10 as the team’s lack of talent along the lines was exposed.
5. SENIOR BOWL: The next big function for the Falcons will be Senior Bowl week, which is set for Jan. 26 through the game on Jan. 30.
In the final game of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 20-17. The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter reports.