By Brian Kalchik @BrianKalchik on April 27, 2014
The Atlanta Falcons have gone through plenty of changes this offseason -- some positive and some negative. Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez retired this offseason and Paul Soliai was brought in to fix Atlanta's defensive line. The Falcons also got rid of veterans Omar Gaither and Sean Locklear.
While the Falcons have had a productive offseason so far, here are five of the their biggest mistakes up to this point.
I understand that Asante Samuel was not what he used to be in 2013, but the veteran corner is still a very productive player. With Samuel's absence, Atlanta's starting corners, Demsond Trufant and Robert Alford, both young players, have no veteran leader to lean upon when the going gets tough.
In one of the more surprising moves this offseason, the Falcons released Pro Bowl-caliber safety Thomas DeCoud in favor of journeyman Dwight Lowery. The worst thing about this is that DeCoud signed on to join the division rival Carolina Panthers. To myself and to most other people, DeCoud is easily a better player than Lowery.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez finally retired this offseason after 17 years in the NFL, but what the Falcons did or didn't do makes this the third-worst mistake. Instead of finding a veteran who is capable of being a productive player, the Falcons instead ignored the tight ends in free agency and will have to count on Levine Toilolo or a rookie tight end to be Matt Ryan's security blanket.
The offensive line was the major reason why Atlanta slumped from the NFC Championship game in 2012 to a 4-12 season in 2013. The weakest link was right tackle Lamar Holmes, who looked completely overwhelmed last season and was benched for that. The Falcons will find a lineman early in May's draft, but failing to find one now is a big mistake.
Needing to shore up their new defensive line, the Falcons signed defensive end Tyson Jackson away from Kansas City with the hopes that he could become an effective 3-4 defensive end. When I've watched Jackson, all I saw was a player who played well in just one season which was a contract year for Kansas City. Jackson was previously known as a bust, and I don't see him changing that label in Atlanta.
May 4, 2015 by Gil Alcaraz IV
With the 2015 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it's time to look towards next year's draft. Read More
May 4, 2015 by James Forsythe
The San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke had another excellent draft in the 2015 NFL Draft. Here are the grades for all seven-round selections. Read More
May 3, 2015 by Kelly Anderson
The chances of the late picks from Day 3 of the NFL Draft making the Cowboys' roster are slim, and here's why. Read More
May 3, 2015 by Shawn Spencer
Rookies trying to win jobs and veterans trying to keep jobs were among the biggest winners of the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More
May 3, 2015 by Brian Kalchik
Here are my individual grades for each of the 256 draft picks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More
May 3, 2015 by Nick Sardina
These seven teams did the best job of improving during the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More
For whatever reason, these 15 players fell further than they should have and wound up being the biggest steals of the draft. Read More
May 3, 2015 by Evan Massey
The Green Bay Packers should have chosen these five players throughout the course of the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More