NFC South: Ben Wilkerson

Falcons begin trimming roster

September, 4, 2009
9/04/09
2:11
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas


The Falcons just began trimming their roster. Can’t say there are any big surprises here.

Safety Eric Brock, cornerback Glenn Sharpe, tackle Adam Speer, guard Ryan Stanchek, cornerback Tony Tiller, center Ben Wilkerson and receiver Chandler Williams were released.

The Falcons still need to clear 13 roster spots by Saturday afternoon to get down to 53 players.

Refresher on free-agent lists

February, 12, 2009
2/12/09
1:44
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Another quiet day in the NFC South so far, but that could always change this afternoon as teams get ready for the start of free agency. Speaking of that, I've been getting a lot of people asking for lists of free agents.

I did team-by-team breakdowns back in January but decided to run the lists for all four NFC South teams here just to refresh everybody. Keep in mind, these are the guys who are prospective free agents at the end of the month and things could always change with teams re-signing their own players or using the franchise tag.

ATLANTA FALCONS

Unrestricted free agents: Linebacker Michael Boley, defensive end Chauncey Davis, cornerback Domonique Foxworth, tackle Wayne Gandy, linebacker Tony Gilbert, defensive tackle Grady Jackson, defensive tackle Jason Jefferson, punter Michael Koenen, safety Lawyer Milloy, tight end Justin Peelle and linebacker Coy Wire.

Restricted free agents: Tackle Tyson Clabo, guard Harvey Dahl, safety Jamaal Fudge and center Ben Wilkerson.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Unrestricted free agents: Linebacker Donte' Curry, tackle Jordan Gross, offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner, return man Mark Jones, long-snapper Jason Kyle, tackle Frank Omiyale, defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Adam Seward and defensive tackle Darwin Walker.

Restricted free agents: Defensive tackle Gary Gibson, tight end Jeff King, safety Nate Salley and linebacker James Anderson.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Unrestricted free agents: Cornerback Aaron Glenn, quarterback Joey Harrington, receiver Devery Henderson, defensive tackle Antwan Lake, guard Matt Lehr, running back Aaron Stecker, tackle Jon Stinchcomb and linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

Restricted free agents: Guard Jahri Evans, receiver Lance Moore, receiver Courtney Roby, defensive tackle Montavious Stanley and offensive lineman Zach Strief.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Unrestricted free agents: Wide receiver Antonio Bryant, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, defensive end Kevin Carter, receiver Michael Clayton, quarterback Jeff Garcia, receiver Cortez Hankton, defensive tackle Jovan Haye, safety Jermaine Phillips, defensive tackle Ryan Sims and tight end Jerramy Stevens.

Restricted free agent: Tackle Donald Penn.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

We're going to start a team-by-team look at the potential free agents for the four NFC South teams.

ESPN's Jeremy Green passed along his list of each team's free agents that I'll share with you and then analyze the decisions each team has to make about keeping its own players.

We'll start with the Falcons.

Their list of unrestricted free agents includes linebacker Michael Boley, defensive end Chauncey Davis, cornerback Domonique Foxworth, tackle Wayne Gandy, linebacker Tony Gilbert, defensive tackle Grady Jackson, defensive tackle Jason Jefferson, punter Michael Koenen, safety Lawyer Milloy, tight end Justin Peelle and linebacker Coy Wire.

The restricted free agents are tackle Tyson Clabo, guard Harvey Dahl, safety Jamaal Fudge and center Ben Wilkerson.

Overview: Believe it or not, the priority here might be keeping Koenen. He's one of the league's steadiest punters and gave the Falcons lots of good field position. Davis and Foxworth might be next on the list. Although Atlanta's probably going to look for help at defensive end, Davis showed some promise this year and the Falcons may move Jamaal Anderson inside to tackle. They need a guy like Davis in their end rotation.

Foxworth was a great pickup from Denver. The Falcons may look for a cornerback in the draft, but Foxworth has shown he can start or be a good nickelback. Jackson is 35 and Milloy is 34. Both had some good moments last season, but it's likely the Falcons will let them test the market. They'll look to get younger at those positions, but might turn back to Jackson or Milloy if they feel they haven't upgraded enough at those positions.

Boley fell out of favor with the coaching staff last season and lost his starting job to Wire. The Falcons will likely let Boley walk and make an attempt to keep Wire. But they'll be looking for more help at outside linebacker because Keith Brooking showed signs of age last season. He could retire or be released and the Falcons need to surround middle linebacker Curtis Lofton with some talent.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

  • Country singer Kenny Chesney got to practice with the team Monday. The singer is a close friend of coach Sean Payton, who is expected to attend a Chesney concert in New Orleans later this week.
  • The Saints wrapped up training camp at Millsaps College and will return to their own facility Wednesday.

ATLANTA FALCONS

  • The Falcons are down to their third center, Ben Wilkerson. Alex Stepanovich suffered a back injury Monday and starter Todd McClure already was out with an injury. The severity of Stepanovich's injury probably won't be known until Tuesday. McClure was running with the team's training staff on the sidelines Monday, but still isn't completely recovered. Wilkerson likely will get the start in Saturday's preseason game against Indianapolis.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

  • Kicker Matt Bryant said his two missed field goals against Miami happened because he wasn't following through enough. Bryant said he'll work on correcting that problem in practice this week.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

  • Rhys Lloyd doesn't like being called a kickoff specialist, but that's the only way he's going to make Carolina's roster. Veteran John Kasay has handled extra points and kickoffs for most of the franchise's existence and he isn't going anywhere. Lloyd has shown good leg on kickoffs and the Panthers are seriously considering keeping him around to handle that role.

SPONSORED HEADLINES