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 Post subject: Dan Neil a possibility?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 12:11 pm 
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Denver Post wrote:
Veteran guard Dan Neil is scheduled to meet with New England on Tuesday, his first visit since being released by the Broncos in February.

Neil, a fixture on Denver's offensive line since 1998, is recovering from hernia surgery in early April. He had knee surgery in January.

Neil, who was drafted by the Broncos in 1997, said he will be recovered in time for training camp.

"We will see what comes of the meeting there," Neil said of the Patriots. "I think they just want to get a feel for me."

When Neil, 31, was cut in a salary cap move, the Broncos told him there was a chance he could return. But that no longer looks like a possibility. Neil said he hasn't been in contact with the Broncos and is preparing to sell his Denver-area house.


In the past, I've only heard the Lions having interest in Neil, and that was before they signed Rick DeMulling. I really hope the Falcons look into Neil. He would be a great upgrade at the LG spot, and would allow us to move Lehr to OC where he could compete with McClure. With a steady vet like Neil at LG, I bet Shaffer's play at LT improves significantly.

If the Pats land Neil as well, I'm going to be pissed. I know the cap situation is fairly tight, but if we can agree to terms with Neil quickly, it can give us some time to free up space with other contracts. My thoughts are that we could extend Todd Weiner's contract.

Based on this year's draft, I don't think Weiner is going to be a cap cut this year. Omiyale doesn't look like a player that will be starting in the near future. Weiner is signed through 2006, and maybe the Falcons should add another year or two to the end of that deal. I know many think Weiner is upgradeable, and I agree somewhat, but I think he is capable on the right side, at least when compared to others. He and Forney are a pretty solid combination, and I think it would be a good sign to see the team try to gain some consistency there for the next few years.

Also Kerney is a candidate to get an extension. Like Weiner, his contract is up after 2006, and he is costing about $5.8 million against the cap. I understand if the team is a bit apprehensive about giving out another big signing bonus, since Kerney got $8.5 million 2.5 years ago. At the very least we can lower his $4.45 million base salary.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am 
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Adding Neil wouldn't be a move for the future as he is into his thirties, but he would make a very good upgrade within the Gibbs system. At the very least, he would help improve the depth of our OL. Moving Lehr, Herndon, and Moore into backup roles would not be horrible. I'd like to see Lehr push McClure for C. Herndon can play OT as well, so he would useful to keep around. Perhaps Moore would be expendable then. Our OL would look like this:

LT - Shaffer, Herndon
LG - Neil, Lehr, Herndon
C - McClure, Lehr
RG - Forney, Bibla
RT - Weiner, Omiyale

I also agree on the contract extentions for Weiner and Kerney. Kerney you definitely want to keep around. Weiner we have had our doubts about, but on the horizon there doesn't seem to be a better option. I think maintaining the consistancy of the OL will make the biggest difference in the unit's performance. McClure, Forney, and Weiner have been working together now for a while and are starting to really do a good job. The left side has had all the turnover, so we have to find some stability there in order for them to perform as well as the right side. Neil could help for a year or two, but we still need someone young enough to lock up that spot for a longer period of time. I would almost have to say Lehr could be that guy, but I'd rather see him replace an aging McClure. It would have been nice if they could have drafted someone to eventually be the LG of the future. Maybe there is an UDFA out there worth giving a shot to.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 5:37 pm 
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I agree that Neil would only be an option for a year or two, but would be a good option IMO because it gives McKay another year or two to find that young guy to develop in his wake.

I think Moore is already expendable. He doesn't bring much to the table more than Herndon or Bibla. In fact, I would argue that he's not as good as either player.

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 Post subject: Doesn't weiner make 2 to 3 million?
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:11 pm 
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I thought Weiner made 2 to 3 million at least and if he does for that price no way do I resign him.Maybe at a lower price but somewhere along the lines the falcon's need to settle this problem of signing players that are average at best thus making a move in free agency or drafting a player less remote.This is the year that the off linemen just like the whole offense needs to step it up.Those who do not produce need to be on the bench or gone.

I remember last year Julius peppers made Weiner look like a girl out there getting to vick a number of times.Peppers makes alot of off tackles look that way but to be among the best you have to play like it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 10:52 am 
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Historically, the Falcons have had lots of difficulty against the Panther DEs and DTs, whether it's Weiner, Whitfield, or Shaffer. Rucker, Jenkins, and Peppers usually have their way with our OL, and the main reason they don't sack Vick as much as they should, because they play so much containment against him.

I think looking over the roster, and looking ahead to next year's free agent class, I think the Falcons should extend Weiner's contract.

My reasoning for this is because:

1) Provides some stability on the right side for the next few years. Forney and Weiner I think are a capable duo on that right side. Not stellar, but provide what Gibbs & Co. look for over there.

2) I'm not very high on Omiyale. I don't see him as a guy that is going to be a starter as soon as next year. In fact, I don't see him as a player that is ever going to be a starter, but I'm not going to write him off immediately.

But with that in mind, if Weiner is cut next year, which is a strong possibility based on his cap figure and his age, then it makes a hole at RT. A hole that would either need to be filled immediatley be a free agent (which is going to cost more than what we paid to get Weiner) or by a rookie OT. The hope is that we can enter next year's draft without any glaring needs at starting positions, like we did this past year.

I think if there is a good OT available next year, we should definitely take him, but I don't want to be "forced" to draft a OT because we lack viable options there to begin with. Looking over the FA class of next year, featuring guys like Jeff Backus, Mike Pearson, Ephraim Salaam, Stockar McDougle, Jon Runyan, and Kenyatta Walker, it's not stellar. I'm not willing to pay $20 million + $8-10 million in signing bonuses to any of those guys, which is about the going rate for a starting RT in the NFL.

If Weiner's play declines even further this year, or in a future year, the team can still have the option of releasing him, but I think it would be a smarter move for the time being to add 1 or 2 years to Weiner's contract, use the freed up space to sign Neil or another solid veteran. It provides some stability for a year or two, and gives the front office more time to find replacements for those guys at LG and RT. It may turn out to be that those players are already on the roster, but with the extra time, it gives them more time to develop.

I think what is delaying the Falcons from giving extensions to guys like Weiner and Kerney, is the fact that the CBA has not been extended. And with Cap's latest update, it indicates our cap situation is bleak, and we will need more space to just sign our rookies.

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