FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes one expert's thoughts on the perfect free agent fit for the Falcons as well as a bidding war emerging for the Panthers.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
NFL.com: Ideal free agent fit for every NFC team
Now that we're caught in a lingering state between the end of the 2017 season and the start of free agency and the NFL draft, there's not much to do but speculate. Discussion and debate are part of what makes football so fun, and this is a time to imagine what changes each team could make in the coming months to improve their roster.
After naming his ideal free agent for each AFC team earlier this week, NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal underwent the same process for the NFC. At this point, most have pegged the Falcons' primary needs as offensive guard and defensive tackle. Many believe those positions will be addressed through free agency and the draft, and Rosenthal thinks Sheldon Richardson is one defensive tackle on the market who would be a great fit in Atlanta.
Richardson spent the first four years of his career with the New York Jets, but he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks prior to the start of the 2017 season and is set to become a free agent unless the Seahawks decide to franchise tag him. In his career, Richardson has recorded 286 tackles, 19 sacks, seven passes defended, six forced fumbles and an interception. Here is what Rosenthal had to say about his choice:
"General manager Thomas Dimitroff's unquenchable desire to load up his defensive line and take big swings in personnel should make Richardson an attractive prospect if the Seahawks don't use the franchise tag on him. With Dontari Poe hitting free agency, Richardson could form a ridiculously disruptive interior duo with Grady Jarrett."
Here are more articles for Falcons fans:
BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL
*Charlotte Observer: *Panthers owner might get his bidding war after all
Many potential buyers have expressed interest in owning the Carolina Panthers franchise, following the announcement that owner Jerry Richardson would be selling the team amid allegations of workplace misconduct. According to a recent report from *The Charlotte Observer, *the Panthers could come with a hefty price tag.
"The Panthers could sell for between $2.3 billion-$2.8 billion, experts say. And even the appearance of more credible bidders, some of whom the Observer has been able to verify, could mean a difference of a half-billion dollars in the value of the team," writes Jourdan Rodrigue and Katherine Peralta.
There have been several names already linked to the Panthers, and *The Charlotte Observer *named a few of the more prominent ones in their report.
Here are some more articles from around the league:
CBS Sports: The sneaky deadline for Saints to sign Brees
The Ringer: The 2014 draft class is ready for its second act
MORE FROM ATLANTAFALCONS.COM