Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 things to know about the Falcons and free agency today


UPDATE: Benjamin to Chargers. Jones to Detroit. Iloka to re-sign with Bengals.

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons appear set to mostly address their offensive woes in free agency and will get some defensive help in the draft.

While some deals are being announced by agents and players, the start of the league’s new business year is at 4 p.m. today.

Here are five things to know about the Falcons today:

1. EXPECT A BIG SIGNING: The Falcons appear to be closing in on signing free agent center Javon Alexander Mack. He’s the biggest, baddest and meanest center in the league. It should be a pretty big deal that could be over $50 million dollars. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been sacked 105 times since Todd McClure's forced into retirement. He was sacked only 113 times over the six seasons McClure was the center and they went to the playoffs five times. Pretty simple, keep Ryan upright and go to the playoffs. Mack, a cerebral fellow who played at California,  is a three-time Pro Bowler. He would fortify the interior of Ryan's passing pocket.

2. MORE HELP FOR RYAN: The Falcons are also trying to add a wide receiver. Cleveland’s Travis Benjamin and Cincinnati’s Marvin Jones have been linked to the Falcons. Benjamin, is also a returner, and could be the replacement for Devin Hester if he can't return from foot surgery.

3. SWEEZY IN THE MIX: The Falcons are also in the mix for Seattle guard J.R. Sweezy, who’s 6-foot-5 and 296 pounds. He’s coveted by several teams. The Falcons are hoping he’d be an upgrade over Chris Chester at right guard. He was seventh round pick in 2012 out of N.C. State. In 2015, he started 15 regular season games and two in the playoffs while playing more than 1,000 snaps. If the Falcons land Mack and Sweezy, then your starting line would be right tackle Ryan Schraeder, right guard Sweezy, center Mack, left guard Andy Levitre and left tackle Jake Matthews. That's pretty strong.

4. SOME DEFENSE: The Falcons are battling the Chicago Bears for linebacker Danny Trevathan and may be cash-stripped after getting the offensive help. But capologist Nick Polk is probably crunching numbers and trying to find a way to make it all work. Safety help could be on the way, too.

5. BYE BRUCE: Bruce Irvin, who’s from Stone Mountain, and wanted to play for the Falcons is set to sign with the Raiders.

HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE FALCONS' FREE AGENTS

[cmg_cinesport url="http://cinesport.ajc.com/embed/ajc-atlanta-sports/d-led-who-impressed-falcons-combine/"]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter joins CineSport’s Noah Coslov to identify the players that the Falcons may be able to land with the 17th pick in the Draft & discuss impressive players on offense.

2016 NFL COMBINE COVERAGE

Alabama defensive tackles (A'Shawn and Jarran) are NFL-ready

Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox gets into shoving match at NFL combine

Floyd, Jenkins are stellar NFL prospects

Firm helps NFL prospects prepare for newfound wealth -- 7 financial pitfalls they'll face

Ex-Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins has met with the Falcons

Clemson's Shaq Lawson interviewed with the Falcons

Nkemdiche has uphill battle to improve NFL draft status

Nkemdiche would love to play for the Falcons

14 questions with Georgia Tech standout Adam Gotsis

Falcons checking out interior linemen at the combine

18 questions with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff

Quinn still evaluating the roster -- Nothing new on Roddy White

7 players the Falcons are watching at the combine

13 questions with Falcons coach Dan Quinn

5 questions with Duke punter Will Monday (Flowery Branch High)

26 State prospects hope to make impact at NFL combine

ATLANTA FALCONS OFFSEASON STORIES

Synthetic turf chosen for Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Falcons cheerleader training session on Saturday

Falcons' Smith leaving to run Ohio State's alumni association

5 positions for the Falcons to shore up

Dimitroff, Quinn have activated the '100-day' plan

Stay or go: Pick Falcons' defense

Stay or go: Pick Falcons' offense

Falcons owner Arthur Blank vows to fight cancer, move on Super Bowl bid

Here's what Blank is facing medically

Falcons released safety William Moore, linebacker Justin Durant

Falcons' Matt Ryan picks Panthers win Super Bowl 50

Arthur Blank on Dimitroff, PSLs and Super Bowl bid

Falcons leaning toward keeping Roddy White


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.