well based on the cap info that me and Chad have been able to find, and my calculations:
Releasing Brooking won't have a positive effect against the cap until after 2006 at the earliest. But most likely that will be negated by some hidden roster bonuses that neither me nor Chad can pinpoint. So in all likelihood, based off his contract, Brooking is locked into being a Falcon at least through 2007. Based on my calculations, the team can save about $3.025 million against the cap if he's released then. That may be reduced by the likelihood he may receive a roster bonus between $1 and 2 million that season. So in simple terms, Keith Brooking will be a falcon for at least the next 3 seasons including this upcoming year.
Based off Demorrio's contract, he is likely to be signed through 2007. Which could mean that the Falcons may have to make a choice at that point. Either to keep Brooking and his high cap figures or give the reins to Williams. Brooking will be 32 at that point, while Williams will only be 27.
Now if you factor in the possibility of drafting a big-time SLB this year, who will likely be signed through 2008 at the very least you have a possibility of the Falcons sporting Williams and said rookie as starters in 2008.
But I don't think the Falcons are looking at Ware as a OLB. I think they see him as a DE that they can work on bulking up. Ware has good strength, and just needs to learn to use his size better against the run. Right now he sports a 6-4/250 frame, and I bet Al Miller & Co. will try to get that up to around 260-265. Ware IMO seems like to much of a project at LB for the Falcons to try and move him there. He would work in the 3-4 as a ROLB, but not in the 4-3 as a SLB. There's a big difference between those two positions.
If the Falcons are looking for a SLB type that can bring pass rush ability, then I think they need to look elsewhere: Darryl Blackstock (UVA), Kevin Burnett (Tennessee), Marques Harris (Southern Utah), Ryan Claridge (UNLV), Kenneth Pettway (Grambling), Rian Wallace (Temple), Jonathan Welsh (Wisconsin) and Nick Speegle (New Mexico). Again, many of those guys would be projects as a 4-3 SLB, but probably are a foot above Ware since most have more experience playing in coverage and standing up.
The Falcons have been reported to be interested in Arnold Harrison (UGA) and Speegle, and I suspect that's because the team wants to get bigger at the SLB position. Harrison (6-3/235) and Speegle (6-5/242) have that, but Harrison looks most likely a ST guy at this point, and Speegle doesn't have great upside to be a top starter and too looks like better depth than anything else.
We'll see, I agree that ultimately Mora is going to favor a Julian Peterson type at the SLB position, and I think Williams is only a temporary fix until we find that person. But it doesn't seem like this year is the year that we will find it.
I agree on tweeners as well. You should only take a tweener on the first day only if you're sure that they can make the transition or stay at one particular position. Ware is a DE, Bryan Scott was a S (although the Falcons were foolhardy enough to believe he could be an effective NFL corner for several months), etc. When it comes down to tweeners, it really becomes about niches. Do you have the niche on your roster for this guy to fill? Robert Mathis is one of those ultimate tweeners, but he fits well in Indy because they use him on 3rd downs as a situational pass rusher. Now this year, there are reports that they will try to begin the conversion of him to a LB now that its his 3rd season in the league. But despite his pass rush skills, Mathis may not have made it in the NFL if he went to another team. Because that other team may have immediately tried him at LB, or full-time at DE, and that wouldn't have been good. It's partially why Nick Rogers has struggled to stick in the NFL this past year. Because too many teams think of him as a DE, while others see him as a LB. He's been moved back and forth. It's why Alonzo Jackson and Nathaniel Adibi have struggled in Pittsburgh making converts to 3-4 OLB. It's really basically looking at your team, and asking yourself do you have the right niche for this guy's current skill set? Converting players right away is usually going to end up in disaster, particularly as you say VT when you move them from positions with different skill sets, like S to LB, DE to LB, TE to OL, RB to WR, etc. those positions are similar, but not the same.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.