FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons have stayed with their plan to retain their own players in free agency.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff told the fans that was the plan immediately after the Super Bowl, again at the scouting combine and again after the first day of the league’s business.
In addition to the in-season contract extensions for cornerback Robert Alford and right tackle Ryan Schrader, the Falcons have addressed nine of their players and signed former Dallas defensive end/linebacker Jack Crawford.
They have lost three players in free agency to other teams, but only one that hey wanted to re-sign in fullback Patrick DiMarco.
Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Monday:
1. Burkhead visit: Former Bengals RB Rex Burkhead visited the Falcons over the weekend. He’s a potential replacement for DiMarco.
2. Poe update. Former Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe left Indianapolis without a deal. The Falcons are still interested. Poe’s agent Jimmy Sexton, when reached on Friday, said his client wasn’t close to a deal at that time.
UPDATE: Poe will visit Falcons this week
3. Schrader deal: He was signed to a five-year, $33 million extension in Nov. The Falcons converted $6 million of his roster bonus into a signing bonus and created $4.8 million in cap space, according ESPN.
4. Salary cap update: According to the NFLPA’s public salary cap the Falcons now have $17,767,523 million under the cap after the Schraeder re-structure. About $4.6 million of that is for the rookie class.
5. Ishmael watch: The Falcons want to re-sign safety Kemal Ishmael, but things have been quiet for the versatile hybrid safety/linebacker.
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