Free-agency primer: Falcons


Key free agents: DT Jonathan Babineaux, C Joe Hawley, DT Peria Jerry, TE Chase Coffman, OL Mike Johnson.

Where they stand: Nothing is more important for the Falcons this offseason than improving up front. They need more toughness on both the offensive and defensive lines. Getting a pass-rusher would be key, but they might have to wait until the draft to fill that need after watching top target Brian Orakpo get franchised by the Washington Redskins. A safety could help, too, but top target Jairus Byrd is likely to be too costly to pair alongside William Moore. The Falcons won't invest in a tight end to replace the retired Tony Gonzalez, although they could add another body to the mix.

What to expect: The Falcons will fill a hole at right guard after watching the now-departed Garrett Reynolds and Peter Konz struggle at the position last season. Look for the Falcons to target Kansas City’s Jon Asamoah, provided he reaches free agency. Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli drafted Asamoah when Pioli was the Chiefs' general manager. Getting a couple of defensive linemen will be key, too, so keep an eye on Miami’s Paul Soliai as a run-stuffer. And if recently released Champ Bailey is willing to play nickelback, don’t be surprised if the Falcons try to bring the veteran back to his home state.