Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/30/14
ATLANTA The Atlanta Falcons have been proficient at re-signing offensive players. Meanwhile, the defense continues to sport gaping holes, some of which keep getting bigger. On March 1, the Falcons cut three high-profile defenders, including right cornerback Dunta Robinson (91.1 percent of the snaps second most on the unit last year) and right defensive end John Abraham, who played 71.6 percent of the snaps. On Monday, defensive tackle Vance Walker, the Falcons seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Georgia Tech who worked out very nicely, reportedly signed a one-year deal with Oakland worth 2 million a sum far too rich for Atlanta in these cap-constrained times. Walker ranked third among the teams defensive linemen in sacks with, logging 52 percent of the snaps. (Peria Jerry, the teams first-round pick the same year it drafted Walker, played only 48.5 percent of the snaps.) In addition, cornerback Brent Grimes, who started all 29 of his games with the Falcons the previous three seasons (2010-12), one of which included a Pro-Bowl invite, remains a free agent. Grimes reportedly has visited both Miami and Cleveland, but has yet to sign a deal. Since free agency began, the Falcons moves on offense have vastly outnumbered the defensive ones: They announced tight end Tony Gonzalez was returning instead of retiring, re-signed left tackle Sam Baker and signed free-agent running back Steven Jackson to replace former starter Michael Turner (released on March 1). In terms of who's left on the defensive line, tackle Jonathan Babineaux played 82 percent of the snaps and Kroy Biermann played 66.7 percent at left defensive end with the majority coming after the Falcons cut Ray Edwards last November. Corey Peters played 42.5 percent of the snaps, after missing the first six games to injury. And there's Jerry. Essentially, the Falcons defender are down 2 12 starters from last years unit with about 5.2 million left in cap room. At this point last year, general manager Thomas Dimitroff faced similar criticisms for not bolstering the defense in free agency, before upgrading the secondary with a trade-and-sign deal with Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (surrendering a 7th-round pick.) In five years with Atlanta, Dimitroff has blossomed into the one of the league's top executives, and therefore, deserves the benefit of the doubt for now. A lot of questions could disappear if the Falcons signed a starting corner whether it's Grimes or someone else. Minnesotas Antoine Winfield (a three-time Pro Bowler from 2008-10) remains on the market at age 34. Former All-Pro corner Nnamdi Asomugha is also available in free agency, but would he take a discount, similar to Steven Jackson? Then there's Adam (formerly known as Pacman) Jones, who has helped clean up his image in Cincinnati under the watch of head coach Marvin Lewis, a close friend to Falcons head coach Mike Smith. Would Atlanta take a risk on bringing the Georgia native back home, even though he could find trouble in familiar haunts? We won't get into the long-shot ideas of signing former Falcon DeAngelo Hall or possibly for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Meanwhile, the other NFC title contenders for 2013 have upgraded at both sides of the ball. Seattle traded for wide receiver Percy Harvin and signed defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. San Francisco added wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive end Glenn Dorsey. Its an arms race and right now in the NFC. Put another way, it's as if the Falcons spent all their time at the gym building up the upper body to look good at the beach, while neglecting their skinny legs. Maybe they're gun-shy from the mistake of luring Edwards from the Vikings a few years ago. Maybe they prefer to put all of their focus on the draft. The problem with that: It puts a lot of pressure on draft picks to perform like veterans and it will put even more pressure on Dimitroff and his staff to get the picks right.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Texas A&M Aggies bench Kenny Hill for freshman Kyle Allen

Josh Smith's reaction to Faried's criticism: 'He's a clown'

Magic, Mia Hamm among owners of new MLS franchise

Michael Vick broke teammate’s finger with bullet pass

Wes Welker: 'I feel like the weak link' in Broncos' loaded offense

Greg Hardy will not play this season after trial postponement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chip Kelly on not weighing in on injuries: ‘I’m not Dr. Miyagi’

Saints vs Panthers: preview and prediction

Kevin Youkilis retires after 10 seasons in MLB

Ricky Williams says he retired due to poor quarterback play

Judge rejects request to move Aaron Hernandez murder trial

Jason Garrett optimistic that Tony Romo can play Sunday

WATCH: Russell Westbrook gets into it with heckling fan

PHOTO: The best sports-themed Halloween costume this year

WATCH: Jameis Winston forces fumble after throwing INT

Bruce Pearl dressed up as fellow Auburn coach Gus Mazhahn

WATCH: Jimmy Graham head-butts bench

Seahawks host football team from H.S. shocked by shooting

WATCH: Cavs intro in LeBron James’ first game back was wild

Did latest World Series win establish Giants as a dynasty?

Cavaliers give fans instructions on how to do 'Chalk Toss'

Explaining the Penguins loyalty to Marc-Andre Fleury

WATCH: Man obliterates house after Cowboys MNF loss

WATCH: Entire history of Nike in just under three minutes

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!

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

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.