The Atlanta Falcons have found themselves a very nice defensive tackle duo in Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters, and both players are slated to hit free agency this offseason. While Peters is dealing with a torn ACL that he suffered in the team’s Week 16 game against the San Francisco 49ers, Babineaux is healthy and probably looking to cash in on one final payday at the age of 32.
According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff stated that the team wants to keep Babineaux, and that’s great news indeed. The Falcons can’t afford to lose Babineaux, because their defense is already in dire straits. Losing John Abraham last year really took a toll on them, especially when it comes to rushing the passer. This is a team that needs to make big upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, and there’s no point in creating a new hole by not keeping Babineaux around.
It will be interesting to see how much money Dimitroff and the Falcons will have to spend in order to keep Babineaux in Atlanta, but it should be significant money. Although Babineaux is underrated by most fans outside of Atlanta, I doubt teams underrate a guy as disruptive as him. He recorded 42 tackles this season and is one of the most effective run defenders in the NFL.