The AJC is reporting
that Ed Jasper is leaning towards retirement.
This is a big loss for the Falcons, because Jasper is one of those leaders in the locker room. And I don't think anybody would consider Jasper to be an elite DT in the NFL, he's rock-solid, and I'd rank him as an above average starter. Jasper has battled injuries throughout his career since joining the Falcons as a low-level FA signing back in 1999. He's never really made it through a season healthy, and has numberous injuries all over his body that have slowed him.
It puts a pretty big hole at the DT position, with the futures of Jasper & Hall up in the air. Lavalais is still a bit green and I don't think he's ready to be a starter yet. With durability concerns about Coleman, this is a pretty glaring hole heading into the off-season.
Jasper was one of the pickups I credit with Ron Hill for finding. When we added him, he was suspected to be more of a camp body than anything, but eventually outplayed Bob Kuberski, the guy that was expected to be the #3 DT in '99, and earned a lot of playing time over the years.