Offseason Needs: NFC South

Updated: February 28, 2003, 11:17 AM ET
By By Ryan Early
Atlanta Falcons

Current Salary Cap Situation: $7.5M under
Unrestricted Free Agents: CB Juran Bolden, LB Keith Brooking, S Keion Carpenter, WR Darrin Chiaverini, LB John Holecek, RB Travis Jervey, S Henry Jones, TE Reggie Kelly, TE Brian Kozlowski, CB Kevin Mathis, OG Todd McClure, LB Sam Rogers, LB John Thierry, LB Artie Ulmer
Restricted Free Agents: WR Brian Finneran, WR Trevor Gaylor, QB Doug Johnson, TE Derek Rackley, LB Mark Simoneau, OG Michael Thompson
Possible Veteran Cuts: WR Shawn Jefferson, CB Ashley Ambrose, DT Travis Hall, FB Bob Christian (injury)
First Draft Pick: 23rd overall

#1 - Sign Keith Brooking. The Falcons' best defender is an unrestricted free agent, but Brooking has said he is willing to accept a below-market deal to stay in Atlanta. The Falcons want him back and are threatening to use the franchise tag if Brooking doesn't come to terms. What's the problem? Apparently, they can't agree on what a market deal would be for Brooking. One way or another, Brooking will be a Falcon next year. The question is, will he be happy with the process that kept him in town?