UPDATE: Falcons officially announce re-signing quarterback Matt Schaub and defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw.
“The plan we laid out for this offseason begins with re-signing our own players, and we are fortunate to get deals done with Courtney and Matt this morning,” General manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “Courtney proved to be versatile in our defensive scheme and he will continue to play several roles along our defensive line. We know the value of having an experienced back-up at quarterback and Ryan and Schaub work well together so it was important to keep that tandem together.
“Coupling these moves with being able to secure Robert Alford and Ryan Schraeder long-term before the end of the season has us off to a good start when it comes to executing our plan.”
UPDATE: Falcons are set to released defensive tackle Tyson Jackson, according to an ESPN report.
UPDATE 10:01 a.m.: Nick Perry’s agent Joe Panos just confirmed that he’s staying with the Packers with a new five-year deal. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s story.
FLOWERY BRANCH — With free agency set to start at 4 p.m. today, the Falcons are in the mix to land two defenders in defensive end Nick Perry and defensive tackle Dontari Poe, according to reports.
The team has deals in place to retain backup quarterback Matt Schaub, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds and defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw.
The Falcons are also close to signing cornerback Desmond Trufant to a lucrative deal that’s projected to be in the $12 million to $14 million range.
Also, running back Devonta Freeman, who wants a new deal, is contemplating asking for a trade according to his mentor Luther Campbell, the husband of his agent Kristen Campbell.
Linebacker Paul Worrilow is set to sign with the Detroit Lions and fullback Patrick DiMarco with the Buffalo Bills.
Here’s where things stand this morning:
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
–DT Jonathan Babineaux wanted to return, but the 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 is contemplating retirement. The team would like for him to return.
–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 set to sign a four-year, $8.4 million deal with the Bills.
–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. The team is in negotiations to re-sign him.
–LB LaRoy Reynolds is set to re-sign according to his Twitter feed.
–WR Aldrick Robinson is speedy deep threat and key special teams performer.
–QB Matt Schaub is set to sign a two-year extension for $9 million.
–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 is sent to re-sign according to his Instagram account.
He was a versatile reserve who made the conversion from linebacker to defensive tackle and end.
–LB Sean Weatherspoon wants to return, but the team may look elsewhere for depth behind the talented linebacker corps.
–WR Eric Weems 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 set to sign a one-year deal with the Lions.
–CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson was signed as the injuries mounted in the secondary last season. He won’t be initially re-signed.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
–WR Taylor Gabriel (made just $510,000 last season) and has received a second-round tender from the team for $2.7 million.
EXCLUSIVE-RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
–FS Ricardo Allen is the starter and one of the leaders of the young group.
–OG Ben Garland received a tender from the team.
–DB Akeem King received a tender.
–CB Deji Olatoye played some snaps as injuries mounted.
–LB Josh Keyes is a speedy player.
–TE D.J. Tialavea provided some depth.
–WR Nick Williams he was a favorite of the former offensive coordinator.
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