Falcons Not in Hot Pursuit of Leftwich, At Least Not Yet
According to an NFL source, the Atlanta Falcons have demonstrated only moderate interest thus far in free agent quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars over the weekend.
The Falcons are short on quarterbacks, with Michael Vick on indefinite suspension and D.J. Shockley sidelined for the entire season by an injury. They have failed-so-far former first-round draft choice Joey Harrington as their starter and Chris Redman as their primary backup. Signing Leftwich would seem to be a no-brainer move. But, at least so far, Falcons officials aren't moving quickly or eagerly on it.
Another possibility for Leftwich could be the Baltimore Ravens, who were enamored with him coming out of college but ended up with Kyle Boller in the same draft. Now Boller is Steve McNair's backup on a team with realistic Super Bowl aspirations. The Ravens also have rookie Troy Smith on their roster. Boller has been a bust and is entering the final season of his contract. But he at least knows the offense and the stakes are high in Baltimore this season, so bringing in Leftwich might not work under the circumstances.
Another consideration for teams looking at signing available veteran players this week is that signing the player this week means that, in most cases, the player's salary will be guaranteed for the entire season by virtue of him being on the club's season-opening roster. That won't be the case if teams wait until next week to sign such players.
By Mark Maske |
September 3, 2007; 10:00 AM ET
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