Every now and then the inbox, Twitter feed or blog comments get hit with a suggestion of a player for Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff to “take a look at.”
Rest assured Falcons fans, there’s not a college football player in the nation right now the team doesn’t already know about. In fact, Dimitroff and his team started preparing for the 2010 NFL Draft before the 2009 selection process was complete.
“We start probably in March in really kicking off the next year’s draft class,” the general manager said.
I guess that means they don’t turn the lights off in the war room to save power…http://video.atlantafalcons.com/video/225957/225957_2010-01-11-173208.flv
Dimitroff encourages his team of scouts and personnel executives to “sniff the pits” of every player eligible for a given draft regardless of team need. In fact, the team already has grades on potential prospects and will spend the next three months at the Senior Bowl, Combine and private workouts and interviews adjusting the scores.
The team will also make additional notes on any juniors who declare for the Draft on or before Jan. 18.
But first, the Falcons must wade into the free agency waters. They’re murky considering the lack of a renewed collective bargaining agreement and, as of now, no salary cap.
In our conversation, Dimitroff cautioned fans to avoid thinking a few teams will buy up all the good players. In reality, an uncapped year means less unrestricted free agents.
And don’t think the team doesn’t have plans for just about anything.
That’s just not Dimitroff’s style.
“If we get to March 5 and there is no deal done at this point, it goes to an uncapped year,” Dimitroff said. “There’s no salary cap but it also means there’s not a salary floor…
“It doesn’t mean there’s going to be a free-for-all owner spending approach to all of this… I know we will be very fiscally responsible during this time because we’re not sure what’s going to be on the other side.
“It’s complicated and it’s going to have a real impact on how we scout during the offseason.”