Falcons, Ndamukong Suh and waiting on fake noise penalty

Ndamukong Suh will command one of the NFL’s richest contracts, but likely not from Falcons. (AJC)

Ndamukong Suh will command one of the NFL's richest contracts, but likely not from Falcons. (AJC)

Ndamukong Suh will command one of the NFL’s richest contracts, but likely not from Falcons. (AJC)

The Falcons will fine-tune their free agency shopping list later today, depending on what potential free agents are given the franchise tag by their current teams. One of the highest profile players available will be defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who will not be tagged by the Detroit Lions.

Do I think the Falcons will go after Suh? No. He may end up with the richest contract for a defensive player in the NFL: in the nice neighborhood of $18 million a season for six years. That would total $104 million, with likely $50-to-$60 million guaranteed.

Suh’s a great player (36 sacks, 15 knocked down passes, 181 tackles in five years from the defensive tackle position) But he’s also a bit of a kook and isn’t known for being a great leader. The biggest issue where the Falcons are concerned, however, is that’s he’s far too big of a financial commitment to expect the team to make given the number positions they need to upgrade: defensive end, outside linebacker, offensive line (particularly center), running back, tight end.

There’s no question Suh would make them better. But they would have to fill other voids with draft picks and low-level free agents. With Matt Ryan playing under a five-year deal worth $103.75 million deal and wide receiver Julio Jones expected to receive a major extension, Suh’s signing also would mean a significant portion of the salary cap would be occupied by three players.

So what direction will the Falcons go? I mentioned a few names here, depending on franchise tags later today. But some to think about: New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (who’s expected to be tagged). Buffalo defensive end Jerry Hughes (uncertain if he will be tagged), Pittsburgh outside linebacker Jason Worilds (won’t be tagged), Tennessee defensive end Derrick Morgan (formerly of Georgia Tech).

UPDATE: For a complete recap of “tagged” players and some standouts left untagged, see below.

If the Falcons try to get pass rush help in the draft, they’ll want to know pretty soon whether the NFL is taking away a pick for piping fake noise through the public address system at home games. It was a humiliating story that broke Super Bowl week, and owner Arthur Blank said he was “embarrassed and angered” when he found out about the investigation last November.

There has been unsourced media speculation that the Falcons will be hit with a significant penalty — possibly a second-round pick. My sense all along was that it would be a low-round selection, if anything, but the fact the investigation has gone on this long makes you wonder. (An NFL spokesman said via email Monday he didn’t know when an announcement would be made.)

But this seems certain: If the Falcons get hit with a high draft pick, it’s doubtful the league will have found a rogue stadium employee as the only culpable party. Losing a high draft pick usually suggests somebody high up the food chain is being held partially responsible for the actions.

Here’s a list of “tagged” players and some top players left “untagged,” via NFL.com.

Tagged:

Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs, linebacker: The NFL’s leading sack-man with 22 in 2014 will remain under Andy Reid’s guidance. Just 26, Houston has made three straight Pro Bowls and was the key to the Chiefs’ front-seven dominance last year. The linebacker won’t sign the tag ($13.195 million) right away, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, wide receiver: The wideout earned 469 targets, 297 receptions, 4,483 yards, 15.1 yards per reception and 35 touchdowns over the past three seasons with Peyton Manning at the helm. Keeping him in Denver was the Broncos’ offseason priority. Now they hope to use the ($12.823 million) tag leverage to get a long-term deal done.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver: A long-term deal will be tricky to work out, but Jerry Jones made it clear he would never let Bryant walk away. This means that DeMarco Murray should hit free agency and will probably leave Dallas.

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants, defensive end: Rapoport broke the news that JPP will remain a Giant. Tagging him will cost the Giants $14.813 million, so they will desperately try to work out a long-term contract. Observers slept on Pierre-Paul’s quietly excellent 2014 campaign which included dominant run-stopping play. The Giants know how valuable he is.

Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots, kicker: Rapoport reported that the Patriots have franchise tagged Gostkowski. His tag carries a $4.56 million figure.

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins, tight end: Clay received the Dolphins’ transition tag, the team announced. Clay will receive $7.071 million under the under the transition tag. Clay can sign an offer sheet with any team he wants, but the Dolphins will have the right to match any contract.

Not tagged

Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions, defensive tackle: In the end the $26.8 million tag number proved too rich for the Lions’ brass. Suh will be the rare Hall-of-Fame-caliber player to hit free agency in his prime. Jockeying for his services should thrust his contract north of the six-year, $100 million deal J.J. Watt signed.

Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos, tight end: By tagging Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos will allow the tight end to test free agency. Many teams are said to be interested in pursuing the uber-athletic pass catcher. His market will likely price him out of Denver.

DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys, running back: The Cowboys will find out if it was their offensive line or Murray that truly made their running game roll in 2014. He’s likely to get paid more elsewhere.

Devin McCourty, New England Patriots, safety: Following the Patriots’ decision to franchise tag Gostkowski, McCourty will likely hit the free agent market.

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers, wide receiver: The Packers have plenty of cap space and want to retain the shifty receiver, but not at the $12.823 million level. Cobb will be the top free agent target for receiver-needy teams.

Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles, wide receiver: Maclin bet on himself last year and it paid off. The receiver is confident a deal could get done in Philly — an offense that might be his best fit — however he could find interest from teams like the Chiefs who have a need at the position and a connection with Andy Reid.

Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills, defensive lineman: A top-10 free agent on our 101 list, Hughes has averaged 10.0 sacks and 40 quarterback hurries over the past two years. He should get plenty of attention on the open market.

Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns, tight end: Cameron has concussion questions to answer, but is the next best available tight end after Julius Thomas to hit the open market without strings attached.

Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
— AJC: Falcons’ payroll slash continues — Blalock, Douglas released
— AJC: Steven Jackson expected to be missing piece, but he wasn’t
— MyAJC: Can Kevin Seitzer avoid being Braves’ next scapegoat
— AJC: Freeman on ’14 roster: Heyward leading off not well-constructed lineup
— MyAJC: By any name, Braves need a different Upton
— AJC: How long should Braves give Upton to show improvement?
— MyAJC: Braves have issues but McDowell not one of them
— AJC: I still can’t talk to Roger McDowell without thinking of ‘The Second Spitter’
— AJC: Poll: Are expectations for Braves too low, high or about right?
— MyAJC: Will Gonzalez be given some latitude during Braves’ rebuilding?
— MyAJC: Falcons’ roster gutting could have big names
— AJC: Data show Falcons got least (10-22) from most ($279.3 million)
— 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

 

Reader Comments 0

53 comments
spike79
spike79

SO glad that POS Suh isnt coming to Atlanta.  He'll burn out down in Miami.  100 million for that thug? Please.

MTSeats
MTSeats

Sign Suh, he would thrive here! Butts in seats.  Imagine a D with genitalia, oh my.  I guess the Falcons can build on Osi, always a clean uniform.

VeryDisgusted
VeryDisgusted

Falcons need to upgrade the offensive line as much as they do the edge pass rush


They need to bring in at least average players and coach them up and maybe they will get one or two outstanding players in this draft


And Jake Matthews has to be better he was not very good as a rookie

VeryDisgusted
VeryDisgusted

Atlanta fans owe Josh Smith nothing


Sad thing is that he was a good player here who could have been greater -- but never achieved what he could have


Good riddance.  Remember the time he gave the fans that half of a peace sign


He is the same person and player that he was as a 20 yr old and never developed the maturity to be better


We did not like the Joe Johnson/Josh Smith teams -- we like what we have now better


And good riddance to Bruce Levinson -- still bitter what he did to the Thrashers and glad he will be gone at some point

JSSN
JSSN

@VeryDisgusted

If you'd spent as much time raving against Levinson as you did on Smith you'd have a good post!

candlin14
candlin14

It is time to ask Matt Ryan to restructure his contract. Peyton just took a $4Mill hit and Brady has done the same... Be a reporter Schultz and D LED and ask some tough questions...

Dawgsandbones9
Dawgsandbones9

a second round pick for fake crowd noise?


Are you serious?

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

It's time for Matt Ryan to free up about three million dollars off his contract. He's already collected on the first contract and if he wants his team to get better he needs to step up....

candlin14
candlin14

@DarlaLewis


EXACTLY!!! PEYTON just reduced his contract $4M.. Time for Ryan to do the same!!! 

Wilbo
Wilbo

The Patriots sit atop the football world. The Falcons, after a brief sniff somewhere kinda close to the summit, now dwell on the bunny slopes right near the bottom.


You peeps need to have the nardolas to acknowledge power where it lives and admit that the Falcons are bottom dwellers in the NFL.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

If the Falcons lose a 2nd round pick........the Patriots should lose 1st, 2nd & 3rd round picks for constant attempts to cheat!!


I would love to see what Matt Ryan could do with the Patriots OL, running game, coaching staff, defense and special teams.  Wow

kerryb
kerryb

@HonestInformed Well said, I was about o post the very same thing.  They should take their whole draft.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@HonestInformed Dreamer! If you think Matty Slush would have pulled off Tom Brady's last 2 touchdown drives in the SuperBowl, you are flat dreaming!


Maybe the first one. Then gotten down to about the 25 or 30 on the 2nd and thrown a nice pick. More likely fumbled.


Matt Ryan couldn't carry Tom Brady's jock strap. Unless he wore it over his head for a lunchbox.

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

If they lose a 2nd round pick for that, the Patriots better be losing a #1.  That's all I'm gonna say.

patriotdog
patriotdog

My guess is there is not a single person in the entire organization smart enough or creative enough to think of pumping in crowd noise. The NFL actually pretends to think the Falcons are the only franchise to do this? As if it matters? The team sucked, noise or not.

No on Suh, Dimitroff has decimated the roster to the point that one great player won't matter., The team needs several good players for the same $$. Thanks, Thomas

At this point, I'd consider trading down a few spots for extra picks or a players/draft pick combo, especially if Roger "Clueless" Goodell takes away a pick.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Does Arthur Blank ever read this lame blog?


If so, please let me address him directly: Mr. Blank, sir, you are a complete and utter fool. That's easy to see. The hard part is deciding whether you are more buffoon or more just plain dumbarse. Toss up, I'd say. Your weak little "I'm embarrassed and angered" ploy is laughable (as is your clown suit wardrobe), but think about Falcons fans. We are definitely embarrassed to have a preening, self-centered fruitcake parading the sidelines as our owner, and are angered that your unforgivably amateurish handling of the team has turned a Superbowl contender into a sad morass of missed opportunity. Get your goofy looking butt off our sidelines. Sit in the damn box out of sight where you belong, and let professional football men run this team.


Jerk.

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@Wilbo If I had his money, you could call me a fool all day long.  I honestly don't get the hate for Blank.  What other owner that we've ever had cared as much as him?

Wilbo
Wilbo

@PalmBeachFalcon


Care? Are you crazy? Do you mean "cared as much" as in he might gently wipe your butt w a warm wet rag?


Caring in football is about as useful as it might be in boxing.


I don't give a hoot in hell about how much somebody "cares." I want an owner who has the moxie and the drive and the hard-nosed good sense to create a winning football team.


Artie fruit ain't got that.

csamuels45
csamuels45

The Falcons do not want Suh. They plans are for Hughes, McPhee, and Morgan  for their program. One player cannot help us blog. Our # 8 pick is Vic, B  . They will hit Atlanta with a 6th or 7th round pick. I really do not concern myself with the NFL who have low morals and pick teams who they let violate NFL policies daily

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

Suh is a really good player. Darnell Dockett -- also a free agent -- is also a really good player. One of them will cost $100 million and the other will cost about one fifth of that. I'd be willing to bet that Dockett's team has a better season next year than Suh's team.

eagle9857
eagle9857

What's sad is the Falcons will be hit with a harsher penalty than the Patriots, who have a history of cheating. Which is worse—pumping in crowd noise or deflating footballs to an illegal PSI? 

Hot_Harley_guy
Hot_Harley_guy

If shelfish Rayan wuld resturcre his contact the Flacons culd sigh Suh but no Rayan way 2 shelfish and only thing of hislef.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Flacons_R_Cheets

Why are you still posting, liar?

You said you'd stop if the Falcons didn't draft Manziel.

The Falcons didn't draft Manziel.

Well?!

DCDirtyBird
DCDirtyBird

Why is it that so many so-called Falcons fans seem to find fault in every talented draft pick or free agent out there.  He's not worth the money.  He's a "thug".  He has a bad attitude. 


You have to pay for talent in this league.  Well coached talent wins Super Bowls.  Look at the two teams in the SB last month.  Brady, Gronk, Revis, Sherman, and Thomas are one of the highest paid players at their positions.


Lastly, why do we not expect our coaches to actually coach and lead.  Why is it that we expect these ready made perfect citizen players to lead us to a Super Bowl.  Brady is no saint, and Randy Moss was called everything under the sun, but I don't see many disciplinary issues occurring on that team. 


Winning breeds winning attitudes.  We've got a good coach, now lets get him some talent and see if that gets us a Super Bowl. 

spike79
spike79

@DCDirtyBird And most of those guys you named were late round picks. A lot of the other good players in the SB werent even drafted.  Thats why we need someone who can evaluate talent

DforDawgs
DforDawgs

I like Psycho's you need a few on the team look at New England. Let's go get him.

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

This guy is a savage animal, but he would put fear in opposing QB's just by his presence, which could lead to getting them out of their comfort zones. If he is matured at all and the coaches can somehow keep him under control, maybe it is worth the gamble.

GaLatino
GaLatino

Sorry, Tallcarl and GMAB... but I would MUCH rather take a PLAYMAKER who's not a leader, and doesn't need to be, than some "choir boy" leader who can't make plays or simply can't stay on the field long enough to make his leadership felt.  This means YOU, Sean "Spoonful of IR" Weatherspoon.

GMAB
GMAB

I agree, Tallcarl.

Tallcarl
Tallcarl

I rersonaly don't want the Thug on the Falcons team. He continues to try to hurt other players and usally after the play is over. I like toughf players but not bullies and thugs.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

Man, losing a 2nd round pick would hurt!  Perhaps the NFL is using common sense by recognizing the fact that Blank and his crew were in the Dome every game and should have been able to tell that fake crowd noise was being pumped in. 

Claiming you can't tell the difference between crowd noise from games like the 2012 Saints, Seahawks, and 49ers games as compared to anything in the Dome the past 2 seasons except maybe the 2014 Saints game is a joke.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

It won't matter who's carrying the rock if we don't have an O line that can create openings.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

"But he’s also a bit of a kook and isn’t known for being a great leader."

Who says the Falcons need a leader out of a DT spot?

Runner508
Runner508

"... $18 million a season for 6 years. That would total $104 million"


Uh, no it wouldn't.

Runner508
Runner508

@HeyThere I'm a math professor so math errors tend to jump off the page when I see them. It's the same way you feel when you bite into a french fry and think it doesn't taste as good as the ones you make.

Fierce
Fierce

I thought this organization would have learnt from it's past mistakes on the "splash" signings. Hopefully Quinn can bring his Seattle magic with him, where the Seahawks were able to bring in cheap free agents, like Bennett, Avril, and Williams to improve the pass rush. It doesn't take a Suh to do it, it takes player development. 

MickSchmuckhurst
MickSchmuckhurst

And while you're at it, can the PA announcer. His shtick on 3rd down is tired and lame.

Much like this team, I'm afraid.

spike79
spike79

@MickSchmuckhurst Every teams announcer is the same way on 3rd downs.  Thats what they're supposed to do