Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff recently said: “We talked from the very beginning about re-signing our players versus going out and going hog-wild in free agency.”
Yet recognized cornerback Brent Grimes, in spite of rampant reports to the contrary, has not been re-signed by the Falcons.
It’s understandable (if not regrettable) that Grimes may have fallen a bit off the radar in the past few days, particularly in light of the return of Tony Gonzalez. With the Gonzalez deal done, however, the Falcons need to prioritize the re-signing of Grimes.
So why hasn’t the deal been made?
Grimes’ 2012 season-ending torn Achilles tendon in the season opener is possibly one factor. The difficulty in coming back from such an injury can’t be understated. Falcons head coach Mike Smith said that Grimes “has been doing an outstanding job working with our athletic performance department” and that he is “progressing well.” Grimes’ age may factor in as well: he’ll be 30 in July. He’s not a rookie by any means, yet not the oldest kid on the bench either.
Regardless of Grimes’ age or ability to come back full strength, outside interest is growing. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have inquired about him and it’s likely that the Bucs won’t be alone in investigating the potential opportunity.
The departure of Dunta Robinson leaves quite a breach in the secondary. The Falcons would do well to keep what they know will work. True, Grimes’ stats aren’t the absolute best in the NFL, but they’re close. Invitations to the Pro Bowl aren’t extended to just anyone.
Who knows what might have been if he hadn’t been injured last year? Who knows what might be this season with an injury-free Grimes?
It’s time to practice what you preach, Mr. Dimitroff. Get Grimes back where he belong–in a Falcons uniform on the field.