The Atlanta Falcons are close to signing veteran defensive tackle Richard Seymour, according to Fox Sports. The move would give the Falcons a versatile defensive lineman for their multiple-front schemes, who is still capable of dominating.
Seymour has spent the past four seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Despite some struggles with the Silver and Black, the 33-year-old remains a powerful force.
After years as a key playmaker in the New England Patriots 3-4 system, Seymour showcased his versatility in Oakland. He seamlessly transitioned to the Raiders' 4-3 fronts.
Seymour can still excel at both end and tackle. That should certainly appeal to a Falcons defensive front in need of more hybrid playmakers.
The NFC South champions cut ties with premier pass-rusher John Abraham this offseason. They were smart to move for ex-New York Giants sack master, Osi Umenyiora as his replacement.
The New Orleans Saints have agreed a deal to sign free-agent outside linebacker Victor Butler. The signing adds a player who could be key to the success of the Saints new 3-4 defense.
Butler has spent his first four pro seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, as the chief backup to DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. He is a natural edge-rusher in a 3-4 front.
At 6'2" and 245 pounds, Butler has the right frame and quickness to collapse the pass pocket from the outside. The 25-year-old has showcased some good pass-rush potential in Dallas.
The Atlanta Falcons have signed free-agent pass-rusher Osi Umenyiora. The move boosts the Falcons pass rush and gives them a credible replacement for John Abraham. Fox Sport's Jay Glazer reported Umenyiora has received a two-year deal.
Improving their pass rush is certainly a priority for the Falcons. They managed only 29 sacks in 2012, with Abraham predictably leading the way with 10.
That feeble rush contributed to a defensive ranking that saw the Falcons finish 24th in yards allowed. The lack of pass rush also put pressure on Atlanta's high-powered offense to consistently win shootouts.
Opposing quarterbacks simply had too much time in the pocket and were able to dissect the Falcons' coverage schemes. The problem was particularly costly in the playoffs.
The Falcons built commanding leads against both the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. However, in both cases, they allowed the opposition to mount a comeback.
Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was afforded all the time he needed to manufacture big plays on the ground and through the air.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to trade a first-round pick for cornerback Darrelle Revis. The deal would make the Bucs a dangerous team defensively in 2013.
Revis seems destined to dealt by the New York Jets and Tampa appears his most likely destination. NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal cites a report from Sports Illustrated's Peter King, stating the Buccaneers are willing to trade their first-round pick for the star cover man.
He is certainly worth that to Tampa Bay's defense. Revis can turn a solid group into a unit that will frighten opponents in the new season.
In 2012, the Buccaneers were the stingiest run defense in the NFL. They yielded a mere 82.5 yards per game on the ground.
Yet the defense still ranked 23rd in points and 29th in yards surrendered. The chief problem was a pass defense that ranked bottom of the league.
Signing Steven Jackson gives the Atlanta Falcons the best offense in the NFL. The Falcons have agreed the signing of the star free agent running back, according to NFL.com.
Jackson expands the repertoire and scoring potential of the Falcons attack. He will provide the perfect complement to the league's most dangerous passing game.
Quarterback Matt Ryan already has the perfect blend of pass-catchers. At wide receiver, Julio Jones stretches the field vertically, while Roddy White works the outside.
Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez, who recently confirmed he will 'return' for another season, works underneath. The only element missing is a dynamic and versatile weapon in the backfield.
Jackson is exactly that. The stellar veteran offers the same level of bruising, power-running that the departed Michael Turner did.