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 hes a free agent. The Falcons have admitted they are monitoring his free agent situation. Dont buy that line for one minute. They want this guy, and hed 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 hes 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 thats 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 its also the veteran presence that Seymour could bring to the table. Hell 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 theyd have two players who will know what it will take to get the Falcons to the top.
Atlanta has cap room available after Tyson Clabos money came off the books last week. They can get even more money when Matt Ryan signs his contract extension. And, who knows, maybe theres a second player (like another linebacker) that might be available that would help the depth.
But Seymour is the one they need. Its 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.
Thats fine. Let him take the summer to get ready. Hes 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.
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