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Monday, July 25, 2011
Charles Johnson, Ray Edwards to Atlanta?

By Pat Yasinskas

As we continue to look forward to free agency, let’s take a glance at this Insider post by Chris Sprow.

It examines some of the top free agents and Sprow mathematically projects how each will impact his current team or other likely suitors. There are two prominent defensive ends on the list and that brings us to the Atlanta Falcons. They’re almost certain to be in the market to add a pass-rusher, although I’ve gotten vibes out of Flowery Branch that the No. 1 priority is to re-sign offensive tackle Tyson Clabo.

Edwards
Johnson
Johnson
The two defensive ends are Carolina’s Charles Johnson and Minnesota’s Ray Edwards. Who would have a greater impact for the Falcons? Well, according to Sprow, Johnson would be slightly better.

In Sprow’s formula, the Falcons would project for 9.7 wins with Johnson. They also would have a 35.8 percent chance of winning the NFC South and a 64.5 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Project Edwards with the Falcons and the numbers drop a bit. They’d have 9.4 wins, while having a 29.2 percent chance of winning the division and a 56.3 percent chance of making the playoffs.

How much would losing Johnson impact the Panthers? According to Sprow’s formula, not all that much. With Johnson, Sprow says the Panthers are good for 5.9 wins with a 2.1 percent chance of winning the division and a 5.9 percent chance of making the playoffs. Without Johnson, the win projection drops to 5.6 and the Panthers would have a 1.5 percent chance of winning the division and a 4.0 chance of making the playoffs.

For the record, I expect the Panthers to make a very strong effort to re-sign Johnson.