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Talk Of Trading Falcons Intensifies With Each Loss

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As the Atlanta Falcons season continues its surprising tailspin, several veteran players could be on the move with the NFL trade deadline quickly approaching. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
As the Atlanta Falcons season continues its surprising tailspin, several veteran players could be on the move with the NFL trade deadline quickly approaching. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

The Atlanta Falcons are 1-4 and are looking to save their season over the next couple of weekends. But with any losing season comes the discussion of whether or not the front office should unload players in the interest of securing additional draft picks.

For the Falcons, this is a tough situation. If they hold onto their tradable commodities, they are still going to have to fight to finish around .500 with their upcoming schedule. If they choose to move them before the upcoming NFL trade deadline, they deal with the criticism that they gave up on the season. While one choice leads to additional ammunition come draft day, the other can lead to a stigma that the organization will quit on a given season.

Here are a number of veterans on which the Falcons will face tough choices either now or in 2014:

Tony Gonzalez – Tight End

The chorus of “trade Tony” continues to grow with each loss for the Falcons. The team needs to draft young players for their offensive and defensive lines, so every pick is valuable. But Gonzalez is not going anywhere unless the season goes down the drain over the next couple of weeks. With the deadline approaching on October 29th, Gonzalez might accept a deal if it sent him to a competitor on the west coast. If the Falcons get closer to .500, Gonzalez is not going anywhere.

Roddy White – Receiver

The player who will conclude his career as the Falcons greatest receiver in franchise history has been plagued by injuries in 2013. White has been a shell of himself as he has dealt with a high ankle sprain and a hamstring strain. While White will cost $6 million in 2014, he is a bargain if he can return to his normal health. White is set to be a free agent in 2015. If healthy, White would command a pick in any trade. But this player is not going anywhere.

Jonathan Babineaux – Defensive Tackle

Babineaux has been the Falcons strongest run player in 2013. While he has not caused the same havoc for the quarterback as in years past in the passing game, he’s been a solid member of the Falcons defensive line. Babineaux is 32 years old, and will turn 33 next October. A new contract of size from the team seems doubtful. His trade value given his age and contract status would be minimal.   

Corey Peters – Defensive Tackle

Peters is just 25 years old and a former third round pick of the current regime. He has been productive, recording two sacks through five games in 2013. Of the defensive tackles who are set to become free agents for the Falcons in 2014, Peters is the one most likely to land a new contract from the team. If the Falcons made him available, Peters would command a fifth or sixth round pick. 

Asante Samuel – Cornerback

The Falcons found out that Samuel had a season left in the tank in 2012. Unfortunately, it appears to be the only season he had left. Samuel has missed two of the Falcons five games due to injury this season and has been a non-factor thus far in the secondary. After using first and second round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft on cornerbacks, the Falcons are committed to playing younger guys moving forward. Samuel is 32 years old, and is due to make $5 million in 2014 in base salary and roster bonuses. Surely, he will not be on the roster in 2014. Samuel lacks trade value due to injury, contract and age.