Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Super Bowl Sunday is now just four days away, and while the Ravens and the 49ers are busy preparing for the biggest game of their lives, the other thirty teams are left sitting at home and planning for the 2013 season. The Atlanta Falcons find themselves in the exact same position as the other teams outside of the Emerald City and the city by the Bay, as their 28-24 loss to San Francisco in the NFC Championship game ended their season one game shorter than desired. With the 2012 season now in the rear-view mirror for the Dirty Birds, it is time for Thomas Dimitroff and the rest of the front office to set their sights on the offseason moves that must be made, namely which free agents from this year’s squad will be re-signed for 2013 and the seasons to follow. While the jury will probably be divided on the future of several of these players, here’s a look at Atlanta’s ten free agents and whether or not they will be playing in the Georgia Dome come September: PlayerTime with Falcons/2012 StatsStay or Go? Luke McCown, Quarterback One season with the Falcons/0 passes along with 2 rushes for -3 yards in two games. Stay. McCown’s future will ultimately be decided on whether or not the Falcons are comfortable with Dominque Davis, who just completed his first season in the NFL, backing up Matt Ryan and being just an injury to Matty Ice away from hitting the field. Eventually Davis will be the second string for Atlanta, but at just $825,000, it would be a mistake to not re-sign McCown for at least another season. Tony Gonzalez, Tight End Four seasons/93 receptions for 930 yards and 8 touchdowns. Go. This decision has absolutely nothing to do with the Falcons’ front office, as I am sure they have tried every pitch in the world to convince the future Hall of Famer to give it one more go around. Gonzalez has said for quite some time that 2012 would be it for his legendary career, and I believe that he will stay true to his world and hang it up. Todd McClure, Center Fourteen seasons/Started fifteen of Atlanta’s sixteen regular season games.Go. McClure is one of the unsung heroes in Falcons’ franchise history, serving as a rock for an offense and a team that had its fair share of bad years (the Bobby Petrino experiment, which almost convinced McClure to retire, comes to mind). However, I think that McClure will opt to retire due to both his age and the fact that Peter Konz, who played guard for the team this year, played center at Wisconsin and was drafted to eventually replace McClure at that position. Sam Baker, Offensive Tackle Five seasons/Started fifteen of the Falcons’ sixteen regular season games.Stay. Part of Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith’s first draft class back in 2008, Baker has had an up-and-down career on the line for the Falcons, partly due to injury (Baker has already had three back surgeries). From the outside looking in, it seems like Baker’s return is up in the air, but it is never a bad idea to try and return all the pieces of an offensive line that ranked 7th in the league in sacks allowed with twenty-eight. Will Svitek, Offensive Tackle Four seasons/Out for the entire season with an upper arm injury.Go. Svitek did a commendable job for Atlanta back in 2011, stepping in at left tackle in place of Sam Baker, who was injured. However, Svitek missing all of 2012 with an arm injury puts him at a major disadvantage as a free agent, which will most likely leave the thirty year old looking for work outside of Atlanta. Lawrence Sidbury, Defensive End Four seasons/One tackle in ten games.Go. Most of the players on this list have a legitimate chance at returning in 2013, but it does not seem that way for Sidbury, who has a grand total of five sacks in forty-five games with the team. The Falcons will be in the market for a defensive end this offseason, which means that Sidbury will probably be relocating. Mike Peterson, Linebacker Four seasons/Seven tackles in fourteen games this year (just three starts)Go. Peterson, a former player for the Jaguars during Mike Smith’s tenure as defensive coordinator, was signed by the Falcons as an insurance policy following Lofa Tatupu’s season-ending injury back in July. The linebacking core was a major disappointment for Atlanta this year, as the group combined for a single digit in the sack department, so expect the team to branch out from the likes of Peterson for 2013. Brent Grimes, Cornerback Seven seasons/Six tackles in one game (torn Achilles).Stay. The Falcons have to be hoping that their issues in pass coverage were due to the loss of Grimes, who had proven over the last few seasons that he is Atlanta’s best corner in terms of coverage. It will do the Falcons a bit of good to take a chance on Grimes and re-up him for a few more years. Chris Owens, Cornerback Four seasons/Thirteen tackles with one forced fumble in twelve games.Go. The trade for Asante Samuel in the offseason left Owens in no man’s land as far as the depth chart is concerned, and it showed in the amount of playing time he had this year. Re-signing Owens would be a move made just for the sake of depth, but Atlanta could very well find another free agent that will provide them more bang for their buck. William Moore, Safety Four seasons/60 tackles along with four interceptions and a sack, enough to earn Moore his first Pro Bowl appearance.Stay. Despite most of the defense’s struggles in 2012, Moore was one of the bright spots in an otherwise abysmal season for the Dirty Birds’ D. It looks like Moore has a promising future, one that could very well see him rise up to the status of one of the best safeties in the game.   If the Falcons indeed handle their free agents as predicted above, that would mean six open spots on the roster. Check in later this week to see the five free agent players from the rest of the NFL that I think the Falcons should strongly consider adding.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.