The Falcons find themselves 0-1 heading into the Steven Jackson Bowl, with the running back facing his old team for the first time. Jackson is healthy, but two other key offensive weapons are not for the Falcons. Receivers Roddy White (ankle) and Julio Jones (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday, and both are listed as questionable, although Falcons head coach Mike Smith said White would play. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is open for business ] Still, White couldn’t help issue his Twitter followers some salient fantasy advice for Sunday heading into the big game. As far as fantasy if I don't participate in practice than don't start me it's a red flag — Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) September 9, 2013
COMMENTARY | The St. Louis Rams face their toughest non-divisional foe this weekend in the Atlanta Falcons, a team many pick to do big things in the playoffs. For the record -- not that anyone particularly cares -- but I picked them to win the Super Bowl this year.
(Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the National Football Conference (NFC) ahead of the 2013 National Football League (NFL) season: - - ATLANTA FALCONS Head coach: Mike Smith 2012 record: 13-3 (Won the NFC South after starting the season 8-0 before losing 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers in second round of the playoffs) Blessed with a well-oiled passing attack effectively orchestrated by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons have high hopes of going deeper into the postseason after acquiring three-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson in March. ...
Sept 2 (Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the National Football Conference (NFC) ahead of the 2013 National Football League (NFL) season: - - ATLANTA FALCONS Head coach: Mike Smith 2012 record: 13-3 (Won the NFC South after starting the season 8-0 before losing 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers in second round of the playoffs) Blessed with a well-oiled passing attack effectively orchestrated by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons have high hopes of going deeper into the postseason after acquiring three-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson in March. ...
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Anyone who bought an Osi Umenyiora No. 90 jersey after he signed with the Atlanta Falcons is going to be in for a surprise.
Forbes has released its annual tabulation of the NFL's most valuable franchises , and you can probably guess who's on top: that little ol' ballclub from Texas, once again. With a value of $2.3 billion, the Dallas Cowboys rule the roost for the seventh straight year, followed by the New England Patriots ($1.8 billion), Washington Redskins ($1.7 billion), New York Giants ($1.55 billion), and Houston Texans ($1.45 billion). Way down at the bottom? The Oakland Raiders, who are worth "only" $825 million. The rest of the bottom five, moving up the ladder, are also unsurprising: Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, and St. Louis Rams. The Lions are the only team that managed to lose money in the NFL, as they have done for the last four years. Across the board, NFL teams have a mean value of $1.17 billion, a sum that far outstrips any other professional sports league. The top 20 soccer teams in the world have a mean value of $968 million, with baseball ($744 million), the NBA ($509 million), and the NHL ($282 million) trailing. The Forbes numbers are often debatable, but the trends are not: television rights are gold, and new stadiums do drive revenue. The Cowboys, Patriots, Texans, Atlanta Falcons and Rams all had double-digit gains in value, with the Patriots and Texans benefitting from new stadiums and the Rams and Falcons closing in on new ones. Combine those revenue sources with manageable cost containment from the salary cap and boundless opportunity to broadcast games on mobile devices, and you've got a league that's still on an upward trend, revenue-wise. Impressive all the way around. - - - Hit us up on Twitter @YShutdownCorner , email us at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com and "Like" Shutdown Corner on Facebook for NFL conversation 365 days a year, the way it should be.
The "Shutdown Countdown" is chugging along. In addition to previewing each team, "Shutdown Corner" will be taking a brief look at each team's salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Atlanta Falcons. 2013 Adjusted Cap Number : $122.782 million (5th-smallest adjusted cap number in 2013) 2013 Cap Room Remaining : $5.282 million (20th in the NFL, as of July 26). The remaining cap room does not reflect the new five-year, $103.75 million extension signed by quarterback Matt Ryan last week. Before the extension, Ryan had a $12 million cap hit this season. His cap charge could remain unchanged (Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers has a $12 million cap hit after signing a $110 million extension on April 25) or go down, as evidenced by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's $6.8 million cap number in the first season of his $120.6 million contract. Where Ryan's cap hit goes all depends on how the Falcons and agent Tom Condon agreed to structure the contract. Best Bargain : At a shade under 5-foot-6, Jacquizz Rodgers is unlikely to be a 15-20 carries per game running back in the NFL, but he serve an important role on third downs and in the return game. Rodgers played in 43.9 percent of the Falcons' snaps last season and totaled 764 yards from scrimmage with a pair of touchdowns. Rodgers was most effective as a receiver, catching 53 passes for 402 yards and a touchdown and was fourth among running backs in Football Outsiders' receiving DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement), trailing Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead, who will earn between $1.75 million (Woodhead) and $3 million (Sproles) while playing similar roles that Rodgers will play this season for the league minimum ($555,000). Potential Camp Cap Casualty : The weakest link on the Falcons' roster is arguably the linebacker corps. One player who could find himself on the roster bubble is Stephen Nicholas, who turned 30 and underwent sports hernia surgery this offseason. Nicholas is due $2.5 million in non-guaranteed base salary and if Akeem Dent and Sean Weatherspoon establish themselves as the top two linebackers on the roster, and capable of playing three downs, Nicholas could be the odd man out.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan got the proverbial monkey off their backs by finally winning a playoff game in 2012. Of course, the Falcons blew a 20-point halftime lead to the Seattle Seahawks, who scored a go-ahead touchdown with just over 30 seconds remaining in the game. Two great passes from Ryan to Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez covered 41 yards and put the Falcons in field goal position, Matt Bryant delivered from 49 yards out, and Julio Jones intercepted a Russell Wilson heave at the goal-line on the final play to send the Falcons into the NFC championship game. The following week, the Falcons would again start hot, storming out to a 17-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers and would again have a double-digit lead at halftime. That lead was squandered, however, as Frank Gore scored two rushing touchdowns in the second half to give the 49ers a 28-24 lead with over eight minutes to play. Unlike the previous, there would be no rally from the Falcons as their seven-minute drive would end with two incomplete passes from Ryan to Roddy White. Still, a 13-3 season and a playoff win made 2012 a successful for the Falcons. As a result, the rest of the league showed interest in key members of the organization. David Caldwell, the team's director of player personnel, was the only defection, turning down the New York Jets to accept the Jacksonville Jaguars' general manager position. All three of the Falcons' coordinators — Dirk Koetter, Mike Nolan and Keith Armstrong — were sought after to interview for head coaching vacancies throughout the league, but all will return in 2013. The Falcons will need that continuity on the coaching staff as their schedule is arguably the toughest in the league and a lot of their wins last season were not of a convincing manner. Seven of the Falcons' wins last season were by a touchdown or less, including narrow wins over non-playoff teams like the Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals (who intercepted Ryan five times and still lost), Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Ask Osi Umenyiora about playing in Atlanta and the Falcons' new defensive end smiles instantly.
Thursday was another jam-packed day in the NFL as veterans on 14 teams reported to training camp and some teams hit the field for the first time as a group. Here's a quick roundup of today's comings and goings in the NFL: • The Arizona Cardinals are nearing a two-year deal with veteran defensive end John Abraham, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons earlier this offseason for salary cap purposes . Abraham, 35, had 10 sacks and six forced fumbles for the Falcons last season and will provide the Cardinals with a little more pressure off the edge. • To handle pressure off the edge, the Cardinals reached a one-year deal with veteran offensive tackle Eric Winston. Like Abraham, Winston was released earlier this offseason by the Kansas City Chiefs due to financial reasons. On the field, Winston is a valuable player who will upgrade a Cardinals' offensive line that has struggled to protect their quarterbacks in recent seasons. The only downside to the signing is that it could hinder the development of Bobby Massie, a 2012 fourth-round pick who could end up as the No. 3 tackle behind Winston and left tackle Levi Brown. To make room for Abraham and Winston, the Cardinals waived fourth-year linebacker O'Brien Schofield and placed sixth-round wide receiver Ryan Swope on the "reserve/retired" list. Swope, 22, caught 252 passes for 3,117 yards and 24 touchdowns during his 51-game career at Texas A&M, but sustained multiple concussions that negatively impacted his draft stock and have ultimately ended his NFL career before it began. • Thursday was a busy day for draftee signings. The Minnesota Vikings were the busiest of the bunch, signing first-round picks Shariff Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarelle Patterson to four-year contracts, getting them in the fold just in time for the start of training camp. The Oakland Raiders signed cornerback D.J. Hayden, the No. 12 overall pick in the draft who received a unique contract structure , perhaps due to the rookie coming off surgery to remove scar tissue after undergoing abdominal surgery last year. Green Bay Packers linebacker Datone Jones, New York Giants first-round offensive tackle Justin Pugh and fourth-round quarterback Ryan Nassib, New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and Denver Broncos defensive tackle Sylvester Williams also signed their four-year contracts. Here's a look at the four draft picks who haven't yet signed their rookie contracts:

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