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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

5 free agents the Atlanta Falcons must keep

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102515 NASHVILLE: -- Falcons O’Brien Schofield (left) and Ricardo Allen high five Falcons fans after beating the Titans 10-7 in a football game on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, in Nashville. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

102515 NASHVILLE: — Falcons O’Brien Schofield (left) and Ricardo Allen high five Falcons fans after beating the Titans 10-7 in a football game on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, in Nashville. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s a look at five Falcons who are slated for free agency, but should be re-signed:

We have a while before the free agency periods kicks off. Here are some of the key dates:

March 7 — Deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition players, 4 p.m.

March 9 — Trading period and free agency for 2016 begins, 4 p.m.

April 22 — Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

1. Chris Chester, right guard: He turns 33 today. He knows the system and was effective last season. While the Falcons must try to upgrade this position, he could be a quality veteran backup. He’s slated for shoulder surgery.

2. Adrian Clayborn, defensive end/tackle: He was solid for the Falcons and shouldn’t cost much. He was arguably the second best defensive linemen on the team last season. Bring him back and let him compete.

3. O’Brien Schofield, outside linebacker/defensive end: He was solid last season and possibly earned the right come back and compete for more playing time.

4. Philip Wheeler, linebacker: While the team must try to upgrade the entire linebacker unit, he could be a solid veteran backup. He played well in a reserve role and made two starts.

5. Charles Godfrey, strong safety: He played well down the stretch in a reserve role. He was valuable insurance and can help with the continued development of young safeties Ricardo Allen and Robenson Therezie.

Let them walk: Tony Moeaki, TE; Shayne Graham, K (Only if Matt Bryant is OK.); Kroy Biermann, DE; Gino Gradkowski, C/G; Jake Long, OT; Bryce Harris, OT.

FALCONS RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Paul Worrilow, LB; Ryan Schraeder, RT and Nate Stupar, LB.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: Ricardo Allen, FS and Ben Garland, OG.

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