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Friday, February 24, 2012
Falcons working to keep Brent Grimes

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff made it clear that keeping cornerback Brent Grimes is the team’s immediate offseason priority.

Speaking to a group of reporters at the scouting combine, Dimitroff said serious talks had begun with Grimes’ agents and said the Falcons “aren’t wasting time with our discussions.’’

The Falcons likely will have to pay big money to keep Grimes and they already have a lot tied up in Dunta Robinson, who signed a six-year, $57 million deal in 2010. But Grimes has emerged from an unsung and undersized player to become one of the league’s most athletic cornerbacks.

With Grimes and Robinson, new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan can have an aggressive secondary. But Grimes isn’t the only offseason issue for the Falcons.

Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton and defensive end John Abraham also are free agents. The Falcons have said they’d like to keep Lofton. But there are indications they’re prepared to let the veteran Abraham walk.