Sunday, April 6, 2008

Will Falcons select Ryan or fill other needs first?

Will Falcons select Ryan or fill other needs first?
High-ranking members of the Atlanta Falcons organization visited Boston College this weekend to put quarterback Matt Ryan through a private workout. The Falcons pick third in the draft, and they'll strongly consider Ryan the Boston Globe reported.

"He's an outstanding player who comes as advertised," said first-year coach Mike Smith.

The Falcons certainly have a need at quarterback, with Chris Redman projected as the starter and Joey Harrington the backup. Yet what Smith and first-year general manager Thomas Dimitroff must weigh is whether it's smarter business to fill other needs first — left tackle, defensive tackle, and cornerback — before inviting all the issues and expectations that come with selecting a quarterback that high, especially their first "franchise" quarterback since Michael Vick.

Tampering charge again 49ers could have been worse

Now the the Lance Briggs tampering affair has been put to bed, a couple of previously unreported facts have surfaced according to the Chicago Tribune. The controversy is believed to have started when Briggs' agent Drew Rosenhaus asked the 49ers if they were interested in Briggs in the course of a normal agent-team discussion. Many discussions followed. A league source said when the NFL asked Rosenhaus to testify on the matter, he refused.

The Chicago Bears were upset because they were trying to use the Oct. 16 trade deadline as an incentive for Briggs to sign with them. But it became more difficult to sign Briggs when he had the 49ers blowing him kisses.

•The 49ers were docked a fifth-round draft pick and forced to trade third-round picks with the Bears (the Bears will now have the seventh pick in the round and the 49ers will have the 12th) mostly because the tampering occurred in the middle of the season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is said to have been frosted because the covert discussions occurred at a time when games could have been affected. An NFL source said the 49ers' punishment probably would have been more severe and the Bears would have received more if Briggs had not re-signed with the Bears in the off-season.