Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has acknowledged personnel mistakes over the last two seasons played a role in the team sliding to records of 4-12 and 6-10. But it turns out the team not only lost a bunch of games, they burned more payroll in those losses than any other team.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to my full column on potential Falcons’ roster changes.
According to NFL Players Association salary figures, via USA Today, the top-spending teams for the 2013 and 2014 seasons were Green Bay ($296.9 million, 116 percent of the allotted salary cap total of $256 million), the Falcons ($279.3 million, 109.1 percent), Seattle ($274.9 million, 107.4 percent), Chicago ($271.5 million, 106 percent) and Denver Broncos ($269.8 million, 105.4 percent).
Bottom line results from those two seasons: Seattle had a record of 25-7 and went to two Super Bowls, winning one. Denver went 25-7 and lost to Seattle in a Super Bowl. Green Bay went 20-11-1 and went to an NFC title game. The Bears did almost as poorly as the 10-22 Falcons, going 13-19 with no playoff berths.
The depressing math: The Falcons paid $27.93 million per victory.
The information was in a story that pointed out that the New England Patriots, who won the Super Bowl, ironically will have to spend more money to be aligned with mandates in the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CBA states teams must spend 89 percent of the salary cap over two four-year periods (2013-16 and 2017-20). The players’ union says one-third of the teams are below the league’s spending floor, including Oakland ($205.3 million, 80.2 percent) and New England ($211.7 million, 82.7 percent).
How should the Falcons spend their money this offseason? I’ll have some suggestions late in a full column on MyAJC.com. But they have some major roster decisions to make this offseason. Among the players: running back Steven Jackson, tackle Sam Baker, guard Justin Blalock, defensive lineman John Babineaux, wide receiver Harry Douglas, defensive end Osi Umenyiora and linebacker/end Kroy Biermann.The Falcons generally start to make moves after the scouting combine, which runs today through next Monday, but some teams have already made cuts.
•Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Georgia shows why we still can’t assume success — AJC: Are Hawks getting Ray Allen? Odds site makes them favorite — MyAJC: Private agendas still at play in Hawks’ offices — AJC: Tiger Woods seems in danger of missing Masters (again) — AJC: Trade likely means Hawks are planning for something — MyAJC: Kyle Shanahan, the coach’s son, has absorbed a lot of jabs — AJC: Greg Hardy skates (and is he worth the risk for Falcons)? — MyAJC: Hawks’ deadline move wouldn’t hurt chemistry — AJC: Tech doing just fine, recruiting rankings notwithstanding — MyAJC: Dan Quinn’s ascent to top job was years in making — AJC: Forget trade talk — Dan Quinn wants Julio Jones on his team — AJC: Falcons need players but Dan Quinn is a good start — MyAJC: Tom Brady takes the air out of critics in Super Bowl — AJC: Short takes: Brady rallies Pats but Seahawks bungle ending — AJC: Another possible embarrassment for Falcons: Fake crowd noise — MyAJC: There’s no confusion about pecking order on Super Bowl teams — AJC: Dan Quinn could have final day on 53-man roster — MyAJC: Blank speaks but remains vague on Falcons’ restructuring — MyAJC: Tiger Woods’ problems aren’t just physical anymore — AJC: Is it Tiger time … or is Tiger Woods’ time over? — MyAJC: LeGarrette Blount walked out on team — and straight to Super Bowl — AJC: Georgia’s Lockette playing for third straight Super Bowl team — MyAJC: Dan Quinn says he’s ready for next challenge (with Falcons)