...from the Atlanta Falcons on how to properly re-build a team. Look at their off-season so far:
Almost all of the departures are veteran players with big salaries and the arrivals (with the exception of Turner) are more or less warm bodies. By signing young free agents, GM (and former Guelph Gryphon) Thomas Dimitroff is doing two things: keeping salary cap room available and getting players who should still be at their peak if and when the Falcons get back to respectability.
There are reports of DeAngelo Hall being traded to Oakland for a second and sixth round pick, so long as a new contract is hammered out. There are also rumours that the Falcons will trade the 3rd overall pick in the draft. Both of these news items are music to my ears. For one, Hall is an overrated piece of shit and I look forward to seeing Hines Ward, after losing a shoe, beating him on a skinny post and then outrunning him to the endzone in another team's uniform. For another, Dimitroff was Director of College Scouting for the New England Patriots, and many of the players involved in the Pats 18-1 season and three Super Bowls were evaluated, scouted, and drafted by Dimitroff. The more draft picks the better; the Falcons need upgrades at just about every position (DL, DB, LB, OL, TE, QB) and it's not going to hurt them to slide down as low as 15th overall and throw a dart at the best player still available. The Falcons would have 11 selections pending the Hall trade, including the Raiders and Texans 2nd rounders, and they're also likely to pick up a 4th round compensatory selection for Patrick Kerney.
From the Atlanta Falcons Blog: "I can't imagine even the most optimistic Falcons fan is expecting much from the team in 2008. As long as no one is detained at the airport for carrying a pot-concealing water bottle or is sent to prison for murdering puppies, it'll be a successful season. And that's probably the best attitude to take. That way, if the team somehow manages to win five or six games, it'll be a pleasant surprise as the front office prepares to make another top-5 pick in a year's time."
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