FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons traded up 10 spots in the fifth round to select TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.
Monday is April 15, which is Tax Day in the United States, Patriot's Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the day that 21 of the 32 teams in the National Football League begin their offseason workout programs. Along with the eight teams that hired a new head coach this offseason, who began their programs on April 1 or April 2, offseason programs are officially underway in 29 NFL training facilities. The three teams who have to begin their offseason program — the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans — are scheduled to do so on April 22. Teams gathering on Monday for the first time this offseason are the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins. These 21 teams are entering "Phase One" of the program, a two-week period that is limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. The only coaches allowed on-field contact with the players are full- and part-time strength and conditioning coaches, and head coaches and position coaches are not even allowed to observe the workouts, which are limited to "dead ball" activities. Quarterbacks can throw to uncovered receivers and no helmets are allowed to be worn. Participation is voluntary, but attendance is usually very high as there are workout bonuses at stake. Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady is not expected to report to the team's Dove Valley headquarters, reports Mike Klis of the Denver Post. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Newtork, Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is also not expected to show . Neither absence is considered a surprise as Clady and Byrd are the two remaining unsigned franchise players. According to salary data obtained by Shutdown Corner, active NFL contracts contain over $46 million in workout bonuses, including 192 players scheduled to earn at least $100,000 by satisfactorily participating in a high percentage of his team's offseason program.
Last week, a report surfaced that had the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers nearing a long-term extension that would make the Super Bowl XLV Most Valuable Player the highest-paid player in NFL history . On Monday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the two sides are approaching a resolution on a new deal and currently are $2 million per season apart . According to Rapoport, the Packers' current offer averages more than $21 million per season, which would be a nice increase over the $20.1 million average per year (APY) that Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco received from the Baltimore Ravens in a contract signed on March 4, 2013. A $2 million gap suggests that Rodgers, who has passed for 21,332 yards with 170 touchdowns and just 46 interceptions in his first five seasons as a full-time starter in the NFL, is seeking a deal in the $23 million per year range, which would make his contract a bit harder for upcoming quarterback extensions to leap-frog in the APY rankings. Quarterbacks who are expected to receive long-term extensions in the near future include Eli Manning of the New York Giants, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions, whose willingness to restructure their contracts have resulted in exorbitant cap charges in upcoming seasons. Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears are entering the final years of their current contracts and will likely receive long-term deals this offseason. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers will be eligible for extensions following the 2013 season, while the Seattle Seahawks can start to pay Russell Wilson what he's worth following the 2014 season. Rodgers is represented by David Dunn of Athletes First, who does not represent any of the other eight quarterbacks listed above and may be inclined to play hardball. That group is represented by Tom Condon (Manning, Stafford and Ryan), James "Bus" Cook (Cutler, Newton and Wilson), Ryan and Bruce Tollner (Roethlisberger) and Scott Smith (Kaepernick).
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Osi Umenyiora is looking for another ring, this time with the Atlanta Falcons.
Free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons, Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reported on Wednesday night. According to the Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the base value of Umenyiora's contract is $8.5 million , with $5 million in guaranteed money. Incentives could push the value of the deal to as high as $12 million. [Also: Matt Barkley looks like the Matt Barkley of old at pro day ] The Falcons have been linked to Umenyiora ever since they released John Abraham on March 1. Abraham had a team-high 10 of the Falcons' 29 sacks during the 2012 regular season, but turns 35 this offseason and had triggered a $1 milllion escalator that increased his base salary to $4.25 million and his potential cash compensation to $6 million for the 2013 season.
COMMENTARY | Free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora officially joined the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday (March 27), bringing an end to his eventful career with the New York Giants.
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons found a replacement for John Abraham on Wednesday by reaching an agreement with free-agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora on a two-year, $8.5 million contract.
The Atlanta Falcons and free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora on Wednesday agreed on a two-year deal bringing an end to the 31-year-old's career with the New York Giants.
Free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora is on the verge of joining the Atlanta Falcons, multiple media outlets reported Monday.
With the next few days, fee agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora is expected to agree to terms with the Atlanta Falcons, reports Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. According to Florio, the deal is expected by Monday "at the latest". The Falcons were looking for pass-rush help after releasing veteran John Abraham this offseason. Abraham led the Falcons with 10 sacks and had six forced fumbles in 2012, accounting for over one-third of the team's sack production last season. Abraham, who turns 35 in May, had triggered a $1 million escalator to his base salary, which may have been what triggered his release on March 1.. Umenyiora tweaked his contract prior to the 2012 season, receiving a pay increase and, more importantly, the opportunity to become a free agent this offseason. The 31-year-old lives in Atlanta and has not his desire to play for the Falcons. "There was nothing better than being able to win there [in New York]," Umenyiora said during a Friday appearance on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, according to ESPN New York. "The only thing I can think of, for myself personally, [better] than being able to win in New York would be if I was able to win here at home in Atlanta. So we’ll see how that plays out. Hopefully, it will work out in a positive direction." Umenyiora, 31, has spent his entire 10-year career with the New York Giants, who selected the Troy product in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. In 129 career games with the Giants, Umenyiora has 75 sacks and 32 forced fumbles, posting double-digit sacks in 2005, 2007 and 2010. Umenyiora was named to the Pro Bowl after the 2005 and 2007 seasons, and was a second-team All-Pro in 2010.

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