Originally posted on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 5/4/12

The draft has passed and we are now in the dreaded dead period for the NFL. Sure, rookie workouts begin in a week or so but it isn’t anything worth noting. This week I want to move on from the draft and begin to pose a few questions. First, does Atlanta need to sign a veteran left tackle? Will Atlanta sign a free safety in the next few weeks to take on Thomas DeCoud? Now that our defensive backfield situation is finally acceptable, what is our main priority in free agency? Does anyone believe Jonathan Vilma? How about the tragic news of Junior Seau… really puts things in perspective huh?  

   Can they stop dancing long enough to make a Pro Bowl?

Well, let’s tackle the offensive line first. I still am praying Atlanta goes and brings in a veteran presence at left tackle. Lamar Holmes was a surprising pick in the third round. I went on record that I would much rather have drafted a defensive lineman here but nevertheless, Thomas Dimitroff takes on a project LT with “tremendous upside”. Holmes will most likely start 2-3 years down the line, but do not expect to see the immediate impact that Peter Konz will have. Konz is a premier offensive lineman, Holmes is a project. I think Atlanta still needs to bring in one or two more prospects at LT for summer workouts.     

Thomas DeCoud, oh how I love DeCoud…actually it’s a love/hate relationship, because whenever I get too high on him I see him let a vertical route get behind him. He and Willie Mo are tremendously talented, and this is the year one of them should take the step onto the pro bowl stage (if there even is one this year…). We lost James Sanders to free agency, therefore, it is a gap that needs to be filled quickly. A side note to the secondary: I saw some talk about Dunta Robinson taking the nickel this season. I expect this secondary to be a top five team in turnovers this season. Bottom line: bring in help and spice up the competition.    

The sAINTS, oh how this is just humorous at this point. I honestly wasn’t surprised Vilma got the one year ban. I thought it would be bad when they pursued multiple MLBs to long term deals. Vilma claims there isn’t evidence. Give me a break. Your coach and teammates have slowly begun to let the gruesome details out. Slap 10k on the table now Vilma, the only betting you will be doing is in the bar with the rest of us on Sundays. The Saints will go 8-8 this year if they sign Brees, and at this point, it’s a big if. Apparently, the two sides cannot figure out how to pay players for their contracts, but can find the extra money for bounties.       

The Junior Seau news was heartbreaking. A self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest is a horrible thing to hear. He transcended the linebacker position and besides Ray Lewis, was one of my favorite linebackers growing up. We all have heard that he couldn’t get use to life outside the NFL…I believe that this is yet another reason why professional athletes should obtain a degree before turning pro. This isn’t about Seau, this is about life. You play professionally until your 30 if lucky, and then what do you have to do? Golf, broadcasting, or coaching? I see this issue mostly with basketball and pro wrestling, but I think it can be tied in hand in hand with any sport. If you get a degree in a field that you’re interested in post-career, then there is no “I don’t know how to live away from the game”. Players could manage their finances more successfully and could retire from athletics earlier and see more of their families. These are my thoughts, and maybe I’m way off in left field here. Either way, when I hear people making excuses about why athletes struggle off the field, I look back at obtaining a long term degree into helping them transition into the real world, away from the glamour, women, and money. May Seau finally get the rest he deserves, and I’m sure everyone’s prayers are with his family and friends at this time. RIP Junior Seau.    

Over the next few weeks, if anyone has any topics they would like for me to break down and discuss feel free to message me on twitter @ColossalChicken. As always, I look forward to hearing from everyone.

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