The 2013 Atlanta Falcons sputtered out of the blocks with key injuries to Roddy White, Julio Jones and prize free-agent acquisition, Steven Jackson. There weren’t enough weapons left to help Matt Ryan and the offense carry the league’s 27th-ranked defense.
Plus, the NFC South grew much more competitive with Sean Payton’s return to the New Orleans Saints, and Cam Newton’s reemergence after a mediocre sophomore season for the Carolina Panthers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also stacked with talent, meaning Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has a tall order to fill this offseason to reverse Atlanta’s fortunes.
All of the Falcons key arrivals, departures and retentions leading up to draft day—May 8-10—are listed below.
Also find out who the experts think Atlanta will take at No. 6 in a summary of some of the best mock-drafters on the web (ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper’s picks are added for a total of 25 expert opinions).
-Tight end, Tony Gonzalez, released.
-Safety, Thomas DeCoud, released, signed by the Carolina Panthers.
-Outside linebacker, Stephen Nicholas, released.
-Cornerback, Asante Samuel, released.
-Guard, Garrett Reynolds, released.
-Running back, Jason Snelling, retired.
-Defensive tackle, Paul Soliai, from the Miami Dolphins.
-Defensive end, Tyson Jackson, from the Kansas City Chiefs.
-Cornerback, Josh Wilson, from the Washington Redskins.
-Cornerback, Javier Arenas, from the Arizona Cardinals.
-Guard, Jon Asamoah, from the Kansas City Chiefs.
-Guard, Gabe Carimi, released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
-Wide receiver/kick returner, Devin Hester, from the Chicago Bears.
-Defensive tackle, Jonathan Babineaux, resigned free agent.
-Center, Joe Hawley, resigned free agent.
-Defensive tackle, Corey Peters, resigned free agent.
-Defensive tackle, Peria Jerry, resigned free agent.
-Cornerback, Robert McClain, resigned restricted free agent.
Draft prospects at No.6:
-Offensive tackle, Jake Matthews, Texas A&M Aggies: 36%
-Offensive tackle, Greg Robinson, Auburn Tigers: 24%
-Offensive tackle, Taylor Lewan, Michigan Wolverines: 16%
-Outside linebacker, Khalil Mack, Buffalo Bulls: 12%
-Outside linebacker, Anthony Barr, California-Los Angeles Bruins: 8%
-Tight end, Eric Ebron, North Carolina Tar Heels: 4%
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