D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons beat writer

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was one of the lead writers in the notorious Michael Vick dog-fighting federal case. He has also covered the SEC/ACC and high schools in Gwinnett for the AJC. He's a three-time APSE award winner.

Latest from D. Orlando Ledbetter

Several Falcons planning ahead for life after the NFL 
 A few years back, Falcons players Kevin Cone and Stephen Nicholas walked into Kevin Winston’s office in Flowery Branch. They wanted to make plans for the post-NFL careers.  Winston, the team’s senior director of player affairs, coordinates the team’s Falcons University program, which encourages players to consider life...

Posted: a day ago

A few years back, Falcons players Kevin Cone and Stephen Nicholas walked into Kevin Winston’s office in Flowery Branch. They wanted to make plans for the post-NFL careers.  Winston, the team’s senior director of player affairs, coordinates the team’s Falcons University program, which encourages players to consider life...
Roberts plans to become free agent for third consecutive offseason 
 Falcons returner Andre Roberts hopes to return to the team, but suspects he’ll likely become a free agent  March 14.  “I believe I will be a free agent this year,” Roberts told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “Just like last year and the year before that. I’m understanding of it.” Roberts...

Posted: a day ago

Falcons returner Andre Roberts hopes to return to the team, but suspects he’ll likely become a free agent March 14.  “I believe I will be a free agent this year,” Roberts told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “Just like last year and the year before that. I’m understanding of it.” Roberts...
Weatherspoon wants to return to the Falcons 
 Sean Weatherspoon, a first-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2010 who was a reserve linebacker last season, is not ready to retire. “Yes, indeed,” Weatherspon said when asked if wanted to keep playing. “I’m 30, so I’m not ready (to retire) yet.” Weatherspoon played only 27 snaps last season and was insurance...

Posted: a day ago

Sean Weatherspoon, a first-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2010 who was a reserve linebacker last season, is not ready to retire. “Yes, indeed,” Weatherspon said when asked if wanted to keep playing. “I’m 30, so I’m not ready (to retire) yet.” Weatherspoon played only 27 snaps last season and was insurance...
Five players on Falcons’ radar at NFL Scouting Combine
 The Falcons need help along the offensive and defensive lines. They’ve previously used the draft and free agency to develop both lines and that won’t change this offseason. When the Falcons’ personnel executives, coaches and scouts attend the NFL Scouting Combine, Tuesday through March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis...

Posted: a day ago

The Falcons need help along the offensive and defensive lines. They’ve previously used the draft and free agency to develop both lines and that won’t change this offseason. When the Falcons’ personnel executives, coaches and scouts attend the NFL Scouting Combine, Tuesday through March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis...
Contract talks in works, Bryant wants to keep kicking as long as he’s ‘significant’
 Falcons kicker Matt Bryant is pleased that the franchise wants to retain his services and is hopeful that  a deal can be worked out before he becomes a free agent on March 14.  “They’ve started,” Bryant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday during a post-career business seminar. “They’ve been...

Posted: a day ago

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant is pleased that the franchise wants to retain his services and is hopeful that a deal can be worked out before he becomes a free agent on March 14.  “They’ve started,” Bryant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday during a post-career business seminar. “They’ve been...
Falcons work out offensive lineman Gottschalk
 The Falcons will work out free agent center/guard Ben Gottschalk Thursday. Gottschalk has spent time with three NFL teams, the Chiefs, 49ers and, most recently, the Buccaneers on a second stint. He has appeared in two NFL games, including one start, in 2016. Gottschalk, 6-foot-5, 293 pounds, played collegiately at SMU. He was an undrafted...

Posted: 2 days ago

The Falcons will work out free agent center/guard Ben Gottschalk Thursday. Gottschalk has spent time with three NFL teams, the Chiefs, 49ers and, most recently, the Buccaneers on a second stint. He has appeared in two NFL games, including one start, in 2016. Gottschalk, 6-foot-5, 293 pounds, played collegiately at SMU. He was an undrafted...
Kiper Tweetcap: Wynn could start for Falcons 
 ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with the national media on Wednesday. He believes that former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn could be an immediate starter for the Falcons, who hold the 26th overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Here are some tweets from the call:  <div></div><br><...

Posted: 2 days ago

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with the national media on Wednesday. He believes that former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn could be an immediate starter for the Falcons, who hold the 26th overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Here are some tweets from the call:  <div></div><br><...
Falcons begin contract talks with Matt Bryant
 The Falcons have opened contact discussions with kicker Matt Bryant, who could become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.  > More: What could a Bryant deal look like Bryant, who’s set to turn 43 on May 29, became the franchise’s all-time scoring leader -- passing Morten Anderson’s 806 points in 2016 -- and is...

Posted: 3 days ago

The Falcons have opened contact discussions with kicker Matt Bryant, who could become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.  > More: What could a Bryant deal look like Bryant, who’s set to turn 43 on May 29, became the franchise’s all-time scoring leader -- passing Morten Anderson’s 806 points in 2016 -- and is...
Falcons open contract talks with Matt Bryant  
 The Falcons have opened contact discussions with kicker Matt Bryant, who could become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.  “We have talked and more talks are scheduled,” Bryant’s agent Jordan Woy wrote in an e-mail to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “Nothing yet, but both sides are working on...

Posted: 3 days ago

The Falcons have opened contact discussions with kicker Matt Bryant, who could become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.  “We have talked and more talks are scheduled,” Bryant’s agent Jordan Woy wrote in an e-mail to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “Nothing yet, but both sides are working on...
Cover 9@9: The Falcons’ salary cap casualty candidates
 1. Salary cap moves. It’s salary-cap casualty season around the NFL. The Falcons and other teams have had ample time to review what happened during the 2017 season and have made some initial assessments for 2018. In year’s past, the Falcons have been ruthless during this portion of the offseason.  In 2013, running back Micheal...

Posted: 3 days ago

1. Salary cap moves. It’s salary-cap casualty season around the NFL. The Falcons and other teams have had ample time to review what happened during the 2017 season and have made some initial assessments for 2018. In year’s past, the Falcons have been ruthless during this portion of the offseason.  In 2013, running back Micheal...
NFL’s 2012 running back draft class was not good 
 Most NFL general managers will tell you that one must wait to evaluate the true value of a draft class. Some three to four years down the road, a clearer picture comes into focus. This brings us to the class of running backs drafted in 2012. Of the top 10 backs selected, including Falcons fullback Bradie Ewing, only two of them rushed for...

Posted: 3 days ago

Most NFL general managers will tell you that one must wait to evaluate the true value of a draft class. Some three to four years down the road, a clearer picture comes into focus. This brings us to the class of running backs drafted in 2012. Of the top 10 backs selected, including Falcons fullback Bradie Ewing, only two of them rushed for...