Falcons: Blalock added to free agent pool
The Atlanta Falcons have been busy in the last 24 hours refreshing their roster ahead of free agency with veteran guard Justin Blalock the latest to be released. After working through the learning curve of the early years of his career, Blalock has grown into being arguably the Falcons’ best lineman in recent seasons, improving his play as performances of those around him fell away.
Blalock graded positively in each of the last five seasons with his +18.0 grade in 2010 the best single season of his career, helping pave the way for a 1300+ yard season by Michael Turner as the Falcons made it to the divisional playoffs. Pass protection has been Blalock’s strong suit in recent seasons only grading below -1.0 in two games over his final two seasons in Atlanta.
Though he enters free agency north of 30, Blalock will still be one of the better guards on the market (at least for the short term) and should be able to find work for next season. In Atlanta, he leaves behind an offensive line in the midst of a turnover and a change of identity as the Falcons look for a new core suited to new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme.