A little more than a month after announcing he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he is cancer-free.
Blank, 73, made the announcement while speaking at the 2016 Georgia Technology Summit in Atlanta on Thursday, according to multiple reports. He also referred to his cancer-free diagnosis during an television interview with Atlanta’s WXIA-TV.
“We were blessed — my surgery was four weeks ago yesterday,” Blank said. “The surgeon saw us Friday night in hospital four weeks ago, and based on the surgery and the pathology report said, ‘We believe you’re cancer free.’ We have to go through testing and what-have-you, but at this point, we feel like we’re in a good place, you know dealing with some of baseball jerseys wholesale and the post surgical conditions you have to deal with. I’m very fortunate to be where I am right now.”
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The Falcons on Wednesday announced that aging backup passer Matt Schaub jersey has been lured to Atlanta with a new contract. Schaub spent the first three years of his NFL career with the Falcons, who picked him in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
The Schaub of today, though, is a shadow of that player, known more for his inane string of very-public pick-sixes. His final season with the Texans in 2013 — and later stints with the Raiders and Ravens — revealed a signal-caller with a shattered confidence and a shot arm.
With just Sean Renfree and Matt Simms on the roster, the Falcons are ripe for an upgrade behind starter Matt Ryan jersey. Still, Schaub remains a long-shot to make the team if his shoddy play continues.
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Taken No. 17 overall last Thursday, the 20-year-old Florida product boasts NFL size and supreme athleticism. A big hitter with range against the run, Neal has been compared to Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor jersey. Neal should immediately upgrade a run-of-the mill Falcons run defense.
As coach Dan Quinn attempts to imitate the success of Seattle’s defense, the Falcons needed to add toughness and Neal fits the bill. Atlanta used three of its first four picks on defensive players in last week’s draft.
The Atlanta Falcons will cut defensive lineman Paul Soliai after the sides couldn’t agree on a contract restructure to lower his $5 million salary for 2016, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
A big free agent signing just two years ago (five years, $32 million), the 32-year-old Soliai isn’t a great fit for coach Dan Quinn’s defensive system. Soliai excelled as a true two-gap nose tackle. The move to Quinn’s penetrating 4-3 front last season meant a decline in Soliai’s usage.
The Falcons will save $5.4 million on the salary cap and cheap jerseys this season if they designate Soliai as a post-June 1 cut (spreading his cap hit over the next two seasons) with $1.4 million in dead money.
A capable 3-4 nose tackle is a rare commodity, but given his declining play over the past two seasons we would expect teams to view Soliai as a borderline starter and rotational defender.
“We didn’t bring him here to coach,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Wednesday morning. “We brought him in to rush.”
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The seven-time Pro Bowler visited both teams in May, while holding out hope that the Cardinals would reciprocate his interest in a reunion.
Signed off the street in mid-October last season, Freeney was a revelation in Arizona, using his trademark spin move to rack up a team-leading eight sacks in just 11 games. That campaign brought his total numbers to 119.5 sacks in 194 games over 14 seasons.
Now 36 years old and firmly in the twilight of a career that will garner serious Hall of Fame consideration five years after his retirement, Freeney will spend the 2016 season as a rotational edge rusher.
In other words, he will be Atlanta’s version of DeMarcus Ware, contributing in high-leverage situations while mentoring 2015 first-round draft pick Vic Beasley.
Much like a young Freeney, Beasley boasts one of the league’s quickest first steps. In an ideal scenario, the veteran will help Beasley reach his potential by refining his technique and wholesale jerseys and passing along a few tricks of the trade.
The addition of Freeney is welcome news for a fan base that has watched the Falcons manage fewer sacks than any team in the league over the past three seasons.