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.


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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.


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About the Author

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