Falcons considered safety, but got bigger

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff could have pursued a guy such as Jairus Byrd in free agency. But Dimitroff wasn't about to spend $9 million per year on a safety.

There were more pressing needs on the offensive and defensive lines. That's why Dimitroff was so ecstatic about landing defensive linemen Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson, along with guard Jon Asamoah.

"We in fact did consider a safety, then a number of other positions,'' Dimitroff said. "But we felt the three that we acquired were of significant importance to us moving forward in the building of the front on this football team.''

So now, the Falcons move forward with a hole to fill at safety after the release of one-time Pro Bowl free safety Thomas DeCoud. The Falcons considered adding Louis Delmas, but Delmas never came to Atlanta to work out. He signed with Miami instead.

There's still a chance the Falcons could add a veteran safety, depending on what type of movement happens around the league. There has been talk about recently released Champ Bailey being willing to make the switch from corner to safety to keep his career going. If the Falcons consider Bailey, it would appear to be as a nickelback, although Dimitroff said no decisions about the secondary have been made at this point.

"I believe that Champ has the ability to continue to play in this league,'' Dimitroff said of the 35-year-old Bailey. "It will be interesting to see where he signs.''

Dimitroff talked about Bailey in general terms.

Look for the Falcons to draft a safety, although their primary needs will be an offensive tackle and edge rusher for a 3-4 scheme.