Falcons add salary cap space by tweaking Ryan’s contract
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons lack the financial flexibility to be big spenders in free agency even after clearing salary cap room by restructuring quarterback Matt Ryan's contract.
Free Agency-Falcons Capsule
ATLANTA FALCONS (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: G Andy Levitre; G Ben Garland; G Zane Beadles; RB Tevin Coleman; DE Derrick Shelby; DE Bruce Irvin; DT Terrell McClain; CB Justin Bethel; CB...
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons placed a franchise tag on Grady Jarrett on Monday while saying they still hope to negotiate a long-term contract with the defensive tackle.
Falcons make Brooks Reed third veteran released in 3 days
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have released defensive end Brooks Reed, trimming a third veteran from the roster in three days.
Thursday's release of Reed, who started eight of 16 games this season, followed the cuts of cornerback Robert Alford and kicker Matt Bryant. Alford signed with Arizona on Thursday.
Falcons release CB Alford, possibly clearing spot for Oliver
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have released cornerback Robert Alford, a second-round pick in 2013 who had 10 career interceptions but none this season.
The move, announced by the team on Tuesday night, could clear the way for Isaiah Oliver, a 2018 second-round pick, to start. As a rookie, Oliver cut into Alford's playing time.
Alford signed a four-year, $38 million contract extension after the 2016 season. His release will clear $7.9 million in cap space for the 2019 season.
Falcons fire 3 top assistant coaches following 7-9 finish
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Widespread changes came quickly following the Atlanta Falcons' first losing season since 2014.
Changes were expected, and out are offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian, defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong — all fired on Monday.
Coach Dan Quinn announced the firings and said he will take over the defense.
Quinn not expecting trade-deadline activity from Falcons
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn isn't expecting moves before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline.
More than that, Quinn says he sees no need for the resurgent Falcons to seek help from a trade.
The Falcons (3-4) return from their bye week looking to continue momentum from two straight wins as they prepare to play at Washington (5-2) on Sunday.
Falcons safety Keanu Neal suffers season-ending knee injury
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons will look at their current roster to replace Keanu Neal, the safety who will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee Thursday night in an 18-12 opening loss at Philadelphia .
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a three-year contract extension with safety Ricardo Allen, who could have become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
Allen has a combined six interceptions the last three seasons. He had 54 tackles and one interception last season.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones insists his status for training camp was never in doubt.
Jones, the five-time Pro Bowl receiver, was back for the start of Falcons training camp Friday after missing a mandatory minicamp in June while asking that his contract be reworked.
Jones dismissed reports he wouldn't report without a new deal as "he said, she said" speculation.
"We knew all along we were going to get it handled," he said.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension with left tackle Jake Matthews on Friday.
The 26-year-old Matthews was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft. He has started in each of his 63 games while serving the key role of protecting quarterback Matt Ryan.
"I love playing here and love the city and I'm blessed and humbled," Matthews said.
Falcons WR Julio Jones will report to training camp
ATLANTA (AP) — Julio Jones will report to training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, the team said late Wednesday after reaching an agreement to renegotiate the star receiver's contract next year.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff announced the compromise about 16 hours ahead of Thursday's 4 p.m. reporting deadline, removing a major distraction hanging over a team that is again expected to be one of the top contenders in the NFC.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn, who have led the team to the playoffs the last two seasons, have signed three-year contract extensions.
The deals were announced Wednesday, a day before players report for training camp. Financial terms were not disclosed for the contracts, which will run through the 2022 season.
Julio Jones will skip Falcons’ minicamp
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons will open their mandatory minicamp without Julio Jones, one of their most important playmakers.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team was informed Monday that Jones will not be present when the three-day minicamp opens on Tuesday.
Jones, under contract through 2020, apparently is seeking a new deal as he has fallen behind other top NFL receivers in average earnings.
‘Trader Tom’ keeps streak intact as Falcons add offense
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Through more than a decade as Atlanta Falcons general manager, Thomas Dimitroff has always found a way to make a least one trade during the NFL draft.
Trader Tom kept his record intact Saturday.
For the 11th straight draft, Dimitroff found a willing partner, dealing Atlanta's two seventh-round picks to the Los Angeles Rams for a sixth-round selection used on LSU receiver Russell Gage.
Falcons go with defense in 2nd, 3rd rounds of draft
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff turned their focus to defense in the second and third rounds of the NFL draft Friday night, adding depth with cornerback Isaiah Oliver and bringing aboard a potential starter in 300-pound tackle Deadrin Senat.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are used to focusing on one or two positions in the NFL draft.
Not this year.
After a Super Bowl appearance two years ago and another trip to the playoffs last season, the Falcons are fairly content with their roster.
Oh, sure, they've got needs like every other team.
But nothing that looks too pressing.
"This draft is different than most drafts I've been involved with," said Thomas Dimitroff, entering his second decade as the Falcons' general manager.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have entered the free-agency period facing financial constraints made more difficult by the league's soaring market for quarterbacks.
The Falcons addressed a need on Wednesday's first day of free agency by signing offensive guard Brandon Fusco, who started 16 games for San Francisco last season, to a three-year deal.
Fusco, who began his career with the Vikings, could immediately start at right guard.
Atlanta Falcons free agency capsule
ATLANTA FALCONS (11-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Adrian Clayborn; FB Derrick Coleman; WRs Taylor Gabriel, Andre Roberts and Nick Williams; LBs Jordan Tripp, Sean Weatherspoon and Kemal Ishmael; DTs Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin; CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FS Ricardo Allen; RBs Terron Ward and Terrence Magee; G Ben Garland.
Falcons waive CB Jalen Collins as 10-game suspension ends
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have waived cornerback Jalen Collins after his second suspension ended for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Collins did not play this season. He was suspended without pay for 10 games in August after a second positive test. He served a four-game suspension for violating the same policy last year.
After loss to Bills, Falcons welcome their bye week
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are suddenly happy with the early timing of their bye week after starting wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu were hurt in Sunday's loss to the Bills.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said that Jones (hip flexor), Sanu (strained hamstring) and defensive lineman Jack Crawford (biceps) would undergo MRIs on Monday.
Quinn did not put a timetable on the return of the injured players, other than to say of his wide receivers:
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Monday Jalen Collins' second suspension for a violation of the league's policy on performance enhancers has caused a "broken" trust that could cost the cornerback his spot on the team.
Quinn added that no decision on Collins' future with the team is "imminent." Collins participated in Monday's practice after his 10-game suspension to open the season was announced on Sunday.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons coach Dan Quinn says Jalen Collins' second suspension for a violation of the league's policy on performance enhancers has caused a "broken" trust that could cost the cornerback his spot on the team.
Collins participated in Monday's practice after his 10-game suspension to open the season was announced on Sunday. It is the second straight year he has been suspended for the start of the season, following a four-game penalty in 2016.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Thomas Dimitroff seemed surprised by the suggestion he might not try to make a bold move up from the Falcons' No. 31 spot in Thursday night's first round of the NFL draft.
Dimitroff's pattern is clear. "Trader Tom" is always looking to deal. A Super Bowl appearance isn't likely to change that.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a $69 million, five-year contract extension with cornerback Desmond Trufant, locking up another key member for the team that won the NFC championship.
The deal was Atlanta's top priority of the offseason and includes $42 million in guaranteed money.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff says the 2013 first-round pick "has improved each year and we believe his best ball is still in front of him."
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have bolstered their defensive line by agreeing to terms with two-time Pro Bowler Dontari Poe.
The 6-foot-3, 346-pound tackle joins All-Pro Vic Beasley Jr. and Grady Jarrett, who had three sacks in the Super Bowl.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff announced the signing Thursday. He describes the 26-year-old Poe as a "big guy that can push the pocket."
Georgia’s pro day attracts big turnout from Falcons
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The decisions by running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to return for their senior seasons left a thin class of Georgia prospects in the NFL draft.
That didn't keep Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn from attending Georgia's pro day on Wednesday, along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, assistant general manager Scott Pioli and 10 more staff members.
Former Citadel great Andre Roberts has signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons, bringing the Columbia native closer to home as his NFL career reaches its eighth year.
Roberts, a receiver and kick returner, signed a one-year deal worth a reported $1.8 million, with $750,000 guaranteed.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed backup cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson to a one-year, $775,000 deal.
Wreh-Wilson is the seventh Atlanta player from the 2016 NFC championship team to be re-signed or have his contract extended.
The Falcons signed Wreh-Wilson in 2016 after starter Desmond Trufant's season-ending shoulder injury. General manager Thomas Dimitroff says the 6-foot-1 Wreh-Wilson made a good impression with his size and "the way he competes."
Quinn, Dimitroff have plan to help Atlanta Falcons avoid Super Bowl hangover
INDIANAPOLIS — In the 51-year history of the Super Bowl, only the 1970 Dallas Cowboys and 1971 Miami Dolphins have lost and come back to win one the following season.
Only on AP: Falcons worried about handling of painkillers
A string of emails that began in 2010 with the Atlanta Falcons head trainer and reached all the way to owner Arthur Blank showed a franchise worried about its "excessive" reliance on painkillers to treat players and the potential embarrassment that could cause the team and the NFL.
One topic raised in the email chain concerned the review by an outside agency that found the team spent $81,000 on prescriptions for medications for players in 2009 — nearly three times the league average.
Super Bowl against Pats ‘dream game’ for Falcons’ Dimitroff
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Thomas Dimitroff's Super Bowl matchup against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots is far more than an executive facing his former boss and employer.
Dimitroff, the Atlanta Falcons general manager since 2008, has extremely deep ties with Belichick. Dimitroff's first NFL job was on the Cleveland Browns' grounds crew when his father was a scout and Belichick was the coach.
Hub Arkush: New England Patriots-Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl XLI: Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
Super Bowl LI in Houston offers us one of the most compelling matchups in years, as the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons, and like most great unions, it will start with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Falcons sign GM Dimitroff to a 3-year contract extension
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — General manager Thomas Dimitroff finally has the security he wanted from the Atlanta Falcons.
Dimitroff signed a three-year contract extension on Monday, ending questions about whether this season, the final year of his deal, would be his last with the Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — There could be some last-minute additions to the Atlanta Falcons' roster, possibly before Thursday's opening of training camp.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn already believe they have a stronger roster after an 8-8 finish in Quinn's 2015 debut. Quinn said he expects stiff competitions at several positions, including right guard, linebacker and tight end.
The release Tuesday of wide receiver and return specialist...
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Star return specialist Devin Hester was released by the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday following an injury-shortened 2015 season.
The 33-year-old Hester is a three-time All-Pro who set an NFL record with 20 career returns for touchdowns. He began his career with the Chicago Bears before signing a three-year, $9 million deal with Atlanta before the 2014 season.
A turf toe injury knocked out most of his season in 2015. He had 269 total return...