INDIANAPOLIS — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and director of football operations Nick Polk will work right up to the March 9th start of the new NFL business year with the hopes of re-signing several of the team’s players.
“We have a few guys that we are definitely looking to negotiate their contracts,” Dimitroff said. “We think it’s going to be expeditious contract negotiations. They are not going to be complicated at all. We have other guys that we are going to decide on. Some of these guys are going to get free agency. That’s the reality of it. Whether if they come back to us or if they find something else, that’s up for debate.”
The team is not planning to sign re-sign longtime defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and former starting tight end Jacob Tamme, Dimitroff noted. Also, Paul Worrilow is set to hit the open market.
“We are going to miss some of the guys who don’t come back,” Dimitroff said. “But they may have opportunities at other places as well.”
The Falcons do plan to tender restricted free agents wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and offensive guard/defensive tackle Ben Garland.
“We haven’t decided on the exact tender, but we will be tendering our guys,” Dimitroff said. “I think the opportunity to have Taylor back, he wants to be here. That will be a fun view on how he continues to develop for us.”
Here are all of the updates from Dimitroff:
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
–DT Jonathan Babineaux wanted to return, but team is allowing him to reach free agency after 12 years of service. Since being drafted in the second round back 2005 out of Iowa, Babineaux has played in 185 games and made 133 starts for the Falcons. “Babs has done a great job for us over the years,” Dimitroff said. “He’s been such a great leader for us.”
–RG Chris Chester the team would like for the veteran to return. He’s contemplating retirement.
–OT Tom Compton is headed for free agency as the team will look to upgrade the depth at the tackle position.
–FB Patrick DiMarco is a dependable fullback a year removed from going to the Pro Bowl. His lead blocking is vital to the rushing attack and the team wants to re-sign him.
–DE Dwight Freeney said he wants to keep playing, but the team will revisit the veteran later in free agency.
–SS Dashon Goldson was safety insurance and not expected to be re-signed.
–SS/LB Kemal Ishmael is a valuable hybrid safety and weakside linebacker, who the team wants to re-sign.
–LB LaRoy Reynolds is a speedy special teams player, who could also return.
–WR Aldrick Robinson is speedy deep threat and key special teams performer.
–QB Matt Schaub is reportedly headed to San Francisco to re-unite with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
–TE Jacob Tamme said he wants to return, but the team will allow him to hit the open market. The development of Austin Hooper has been key.
–TE Levine Toilolo is a blocking tight end and the team likes the work he’s done in the rushing attack. They are hoping to re-sign him.
–DT Courtney Upshaw was a versatile reserve who made the conversion from linebacker to defensive tackle and end.
–LB Sean Weatherspoon wants to return, but the team make look elsewhere for depth behind the talented linebacker corps.
–WR Eric Weems the former Pro Bowler is a valued special teams player, but may not be re-signed.
–LB Philip Wheeler a key veteran backup, who can start in a pinch. The Columbus, Ga. native wants to return.
–LB Paul Worrilow he’s headed to the open market after leading the team in tackles from 2013-2015.
–CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson was signed as the injuries mounted in the secondary. He won’t be initially re-signed.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
–LB Tyler Starr is not expected to get tendered.
–OG Ben Garland will receive a tender from the team.
–WR Taylor Gabriel (made just $510,000 last season) and will receive a tender from the team.
–DB Akeem King may receive a modest tender from the team.
EXCLUSIVE-RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
–FS Ricardo Allen is the starter and one of the leaders of the young group.
–CB Deji Olatoye played some snaps as injuries mounted.
–LB Josh Keyes the team likes his speed.
–TE D.J. Tialavea provided some depth.
–WR Nick Williams he was a favorite of the former offensive coordinator.
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