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NFL Team Report - Atlanta Falcons - INSIDE SLANT
Falcons first-round draft pick Desmond Trufant completed his graduation work at the University of Washington and participated in OTAs on Tuesday.
Trufant, who's expected to land the starting right cornerback position, worked out with the first unit and made several plays on passes during the non-contact drills. He missed the first six sessions while he was completing his college work and final exams.
"It was nice to have Desmond," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "His work is done at the University of Washington. He'll be with us until we finish up in about two weeks with the rookies. It was nice to see him out here, getting caught up with everybody else."
Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and secondary coach Tim Lewis were also elated to get Trufant for the team's last four OTA sessions.
Trufant and second-round pick Robert Alford received additional snaps because veteran cornerback Asante Samuel was excused from OTA session No. 7. Alford lined up at right cornerback and Dominique Franks played the nickel cornerback in the slot.
"I think it's really good for the young guys," Smith said. "These are guys that we are counting on to contribute this season and they are getting lots of reps. We knew (Samuel) wasn't going to be here, but that gives Robert and Desmond an opportunity to get more reps, which they really need."
Trufant's caught the eye of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
"He's an athletic kid, that's for sure," Ryan said. "He moves pretty well. That's probably the thing I noticed most during the one-on-ones."
NFL Team Report - Atlanta Falcons - NOTES, QUOTES
--Tight end Levine Toilolo, the team's fourth-round pick, finished up his course work at Stanford on Tuesday and will be with the team on Wednesday, Smith said.
--Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and his staff were on hand to meet with the Falcons' defensive staff. They planned to exchange notes on the read-option offense.
The defense, which struggled at times against the attack last season, worked on defending the offense during the OTA.
--Tight end Adam Nissley, an undrafted free agent from South Forsyth High and Central Florida, suffered a torn ACL last week before being released injured by the Falcons. After clearing waivers, he was placed on reserve/injured.
Nissley, 6-6 and 267 pounds, was recovering from a torn ACL in the opposite knee that he suffered last August 9.
The Falcons signed tight end Anthony Miller to take Nissley's spot on the roster.
--Weak-side linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (knee surgery) and strong-side linebacker Stephen Nicholas (sports hernia) are now slated to return for the team's mandatory minicamp, June 18 through 20. Smith originally thought they might be ready for the end of OTAs, which conclude on Friday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's probably about close to 10 pounds heavier than he was at the end of the season. He's worked extremely hard. He's a guy that we are counting on being a part of our rotation." -- Falcons coach Mike Smith on defensive end/tackle Cliff Matthews.
NFL Team Report - Atlanta Falcons - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Phillipkeith Manley was one of the surprise stories of last season as he made the 53-man roster.
He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo and impressed the coaches with his physical brand of smash-mouth blocking once they put on the pads.
But instead of competing for the starting right guard spot, Manley, who returned to the offseason program overweight, is in a fight with himself to retain a spot on the roster.
Manley, who wouldn't reveal his weight, is listed at 6-5 and 309 pounds. He clearly weighs at least 30 pounds more than his listed weight.
He's spending extra time with the strength and conditioning trainers in the Falcons' athletic performance department and is consulting with a nutritionist in order to save his once promising career.
"He's really coming around as far as that aspect of it," offensive line coach Paul Dunn said. "He needs to get himself to where he's working not only in competition with some of the other players, but he's also working in competition with himself to get himself down to a good playing weight."
Manley knows that he has placed himself in a tough situation.
"I came in a little bit heavier than I did last year," Manley said. "I've already lost about 20 pounds or so. I'm still confident."
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--FB Mike Cox (not tendered as UFA).
--S Chris Hope (not tendered as UFA).
--LB Mike Peterson (not tendered as UFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
--DE Malliciah Goodman (4/127): $2,557,088/4 yrs, $397,088 SB.
--TE Levine Toilolo (4/133): $2,460,584/4 yrs, $300,584 SB.
--DE Stansly Maponga (5/153): $2,346,740/4 yrs, $186,740 SB.
--S Kemal Ishmael (7/243): $2,205,896/4 yrs, $45,896 SB.
--S Zeke Motta (7/244): $2,205,896/4 yrs, $45,896 SB.
--T Sam Baker: UFA; $41.5M/6 yrs, $18.25M guaranteed.
--TE Tony Gonzalez: UFA; $14M/2 yrs, $3.5M SB.
--S William Moore: Potential UFA; $29.512M/5 yrs, $8.25M SB/$14M guaranteed.
--G Garrett Reynolds: Potential UFA; $2.58M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB/$700,000 guaranteed.
--RB Antone Smith: Potential RFA; $1.425M/2 yrs, $65,000 SB.
--FB Patrick DiMarco: FA Chiefs; terms unknown.
--RB Steven Jackson: UFA Rams; $12M/3 yrs, $3.5M SB/$4M guaranteed.
--DE Osi Umenyiora: UFA Giants; $8.5M/3 yrs, $2.5M SB/$5M guaranteed.
--DE John Abraham (released).
--T Tyson Clabo (released/post-June 1 designation).
--CB Brent Grimes: UFA Dolphins; $5M/1 yr, $2.25M SB/$3M guaranteed.
--C Todd McClure (UFA; retired).
--QB Luke McCown: UFA Saints; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Kerry Meier (released).
--CB Christopher Owens: UFA Browns; $1M/1 yr.
--TE Michael Palmer: Not tendered as RFA/Giants; terms unknown.
--CB Dunta Robinson (released.
--DE Lawrence Sidbury: UFA Colts; terms unknown.
--OT Will Svitek: UFA Patriots; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--RB Michael Turner (released/failed physical).
--DT Vance Walker: UFA Raiders; $1.3M/1 yr.