Falcons’ next target should be Seymour

sports@macon.comJune 8, 2013 

The Atlanta Falcons need one more defensive player before they get to training camp next month.

They need Richard Seymour.

Remember Seymour, the former star at Georgia back in the late 1990s? He was part of a pretty good defensive line, one that produced four first-round picks: Seymour (New England, 2001), Marcus Stroud (Jacksonville, 2001), Charles Grant (New Orleans, 2002) and Johnathan Sullivan (New Orleans, 2003).

Seymour is the only one left standing. He played in New England for eight years and won three Super Bowl rings. Then he was traded to Oakland in 2009 and has played the past four years with the Raiders.

Now he’s a free agent. The Falcons have admitted they are “monitoring” his free agent situation. Don’t buy that line for one minute. They want this guy, and he’d be a perfect fit.

Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons’ general manager, worked in New England when Seymour was in his prime helping Patriots head coach Bill Belichick win championships. Dimitroff undoubtedly knows how much Seymour would help on the field and in the locker room.

Dimitroff brought in Osi Umenyiora to replace John Abraham at defensive end. He then drafted two more defensive ends (Malliciah Goodman and Stansley Maponga) in the draft. Even though the Falcons could use another linebacker, Seymour still makes more sense to join the defensive line.

The Falcons are going to do different things with second-year defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who admittedly likes his players to do different things. Seymour will be great for Nolan since he’s played both at defensive tackle and defensive end in his NFL career.

If Seymour joins the Falcons, they could slide Jonathan Babineaux outside to defensive end if needed, and they could also back up Kroy Biermann and let him play some at linebacker. It seems that everybody is curious to see what Biermann, an undersized end at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, could do with his hand off the ground.

Seymour would just give Nolan more options, and that’s what a coach like Nolan craves. He has to know the Falcons have a tougher schedule this year, with numerous games against very good and explosive quarterbacks -- Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick, to name a few. So Atlanta must be better on defense.

But it’s also the veteran presence that Seymour could bring to the table. He’ll be 34 in October, and, with his experience on winning clubs in New England, that would be a huge asset for a team that is trying to get to and win a Super Bowl.

The Falcons are already saying Umenyiora is showing outstanding leadership with the younger players in workouts. Umenyiora has two Super Bowl rings of his own. Add Seymour, and they’d have two players who will know what it will take to get the Falcons to the top.

Atlanta has cap room available after Tyson Clabo’s money came off the books last week. They can get even more money when Matt Ryan signs his contract extension. And, who knows, maybe there’s a second player (like another linebacker) that might be available that would help the depth.

But Seymour is the one they need. It’s such a great fit it almost seems inevitable. You have to wonder if Seymour, being the veteran that he is, might wait closer to training camp before he makes his decision.

That’s fine. Let him take the summer to get ready. He’s a five-time All-Pro, and he has been to seven Pro Bowls. Seymour will be a player worth waiting for to wear red and black once again.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service