All Falcons-related topics right now seem to adress two major topics: 1. Who’s going to be the RB splitting carries with Rodgers next season? and 2. Is Tony Gonzalez coming back for another year? Let’s take a look at the first question so we can analize the best way for Dimitroff and Co. to answer it.
Dec 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of the game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports
There are three different ways the Falcons can adress the Running Back situation: staying put, via free agency or in the draft. Let’s take a look at each one of them to decide which one makes the most sense. Even though the Falcons could also trade for a RB, I choose to skip this option simply because I do not see this happening.
This is the least logical option of the three, but it’s still an option. We’ve heard multiple times that the Comrade likes to “keep his own”, so maybe the Turner-Rodgers duo stays for at least one more year. I f Michael Turner is willing to restructure his contract to make his cap figure around 3 or 4 million smaller, I could see a scenario where the front office would like to give this proven veteran another year instead of making the risk of bringing someone new. You could easily argue that Turner’s deficiencies in 2012 had to do with the lack of touches and the scheme; but then again the system is not likely to change, so he would have the same problems next year.
The past week, the Falcons have been linked to Reggie Bush, Shonn Greene and now Steven Jackson. Add UFAs Ahmad Bradshaw, Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling and the Free Agency Class starts to look pretty good or at least pretty deep. Then again, all this names either carry a lot of mileage or are injury-prone. Experts around the web seem to think that Dimitroff will be quieter in Free Agency after making the mistake of signing Ray Edwards in 2011 but us Falcons fans know very well that TD will do every move he thinks is the right move.
Of this FA list, I would only take Steven Jackson. Not because I think he’ll post better numbers than Turner last year or because I think he has the most to offer, but because he’s the kind of locker room leader and give-it-your-110-percent veteran the Falcons have so correctly favored. He would come from a similar situation to the one Tony was, with the will to do everything he can to achieve the ultimate goal.
This is, to me, the most interesting and probably the best option of the three. First of all, RB is the only skill position that you can adress with a late-round pick and acquire a solid starter; this has become more and more obvious over the last few years. Another reason is that thanks to Quizz, we only need a contributor which widens the range of prospects we can get. Let’s not forget that we will probably have more than 8 picks this year and that drafting a young player gives our team a very dynamic backfield for years to come.
All in all, an argument can be made for each option but I would really like to see the Falcons adress this position of need in the 3rd or 4th round of the Draft. A Free Agent won’t necessarily be an improvement from last year and the Status-Quo would arguably worry, if not drive crazy, most fans.
Where do you think the Falcons should find their next RB?