By: John Wickham
Why not? The Falcons really do not have much to lose by signing him. It is a one-year deal for what I believe is close to the veteran minimum. He comes to camp and he competes for a job. If he wins, hopefully it is because he is that good, not that his competition sucks. I see him being comparably to Garrett Reynolds both are 6’7” and around 315 lbs. Both were college OTs and have converted to Guard in the pros. The difference between the two is that Carimi will cost the Falcons a lot less.
Some background on Gabe is that he is a former Wisconsin Badger and former 1st round pick of the Chicago Bears. In fact if the Falcons did not trade up for Julio Jones, Thomas Dimitroff has said before that Gabe probably would have been the pick. He played last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was released, which allowed him to be signed immediately.
The Falcons were probably interested in him because of wanting him before in the draft and because his former OL coach is the Falcons current OL coach in Mike Tice.
I see this move as a low risk, high reward. It did not cost much to sign him and if he does well great and if not then cut him and move on.
Other Falcon News
• Starting today the Falcons can use their Franchise tag. Unfortunately there really is no one worth using it on. The guy it probably would have been used on was Matt Ryan if he did not sign his extension. Next year though, if an extension is not reach it could be used on Julio Jones.
• The NFL Scouting Combine begins this Saturday, February 22 and runs through next Monday.
• NFL Free agency begins at 4pm on March 11.
• The Falcons are also interested in former Lions S Louis Delmas. Since he was released, he is free to sign now, without having to wait till March 11.