Friday, February 14, 2014
Safety Delmas likely to intrigue Falcons
By Vaughn McClure
As players continue to get released around the league, it's only natural for fans to wonder how those players would fit in with their respective teams.
One transaction that occurred on Thursday is likely to grab the Atlanta Falcons' attention.
Don't be surprise if the Falcons investigate the possibility of adding free-agent safety Louis Delmas, who was cut by the Detroit Lions. Delmas became a cap casualty as he was set to count $6.5 million against the Lions' cap this season.
Delmas, represented by Drew Rosenhaus, is sure to draw interest from a number of teams. He started 64 games after entering the league as a second-round pick for the Lions in 2009 out of Western Michigan.
The Falcons are looking for veteran help at safety in the form of a sure tackler and guy capable of making plays on the ball. Thomas DeCoud has had trouble tackling, leaving his future with the Falcons in doubt. DeCoud, a Pro Bowler in 2012, has a cap number of $4.8 million in 2014 and has three years left on his contract.
The 5-foot-11, 202-pound Delmas has dealt with a chronic knee condition through the course of his career, but he played in all 16 games this past season and had three interceptions. His rugged style of play has contributed to some of his health issues, although Delmas vowed not to alter his play.
The Falcons have a number of positions to address this offseason, and the offensive and defensive lines take precedent over all other positions. But adding a safety such a Delmas could be an economical way to address concerns. Going after top free-agent safety Jairus Byrd might be too costly, although a safety tandem of William Moore and Byrd sounds rather appealing.
Here's what Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said when asked if needed to add a veteran safety.
"Do we need a safety? I think it's always important to have good, experienced safeties and safeties that will make plays on the ball and be adept and consistent tacklers," Dimitroff said. "So, we will always look to continue to improve depth, like we've always said. Improving our group of safeties, that's always going to be an important thing for us."