Earlier in the off-season, I'm sure as some remember, I wasn't too optimistic about our ability to sign any "name" free agents. Our cap situation at that time wasn't too promising, and we seemingly barely had enough funds to re-sign our own players and to maybe get half our rookie class signed. So at that time, I thought it was doubtful the team would be able to give out any signing bonus over $5 million, which is basically the going rate for any decent NFL free agent, regardless of position.
But I stand corrected at this point, and McKay did a good job managing the cap so that we could avoid to pay Hartwell $8 million to sign, not to mention probably a combined total of about $4-5 million to get Lehr, Rossum, and Reese into the fold.
So Kudos to Rich McKay, along with Ray Anderson, our capologist. It was wise spending. Although I would have loved to have Mike Wahle or Rick DeMulling, Hartwell is probably just as good.
Of course, I honestly believe that the Hartwell signing has pretty much broke the bank, so I'd be very surprised if the team made any more additions between now and the draft. If they do, it will probably be re-signing someone like Ulmer to a minimum deal.
I will be curious to see if the Falcons are sniffing around the June FA market. Typically, this has been a team that hasn't been very active in the summer in terms of going after recent free agents. We've signed guys like Willie Jackson, Stanley Pritchett, Maa Tanuvasa, and Justin Swift, but in all those cases they were UFAs back in March that just managed to slip through the cracks. We've never really went after anybody that was released in June. That doesn't seem to be McKay's style.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.