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Posted: March 18, 2014 7:54 p.m.

From the Cheap Seats

Free agent signings show Falcons still care

Courtesy of Atlanta Falcons/

The Falcons' actions during the free agency period show they're still dedicated to winning.

If the start to the free-agent signing period is any indication, then Atlanta Falcons' fan should be pleased with the ripple their team made last week.

With a litany of problems plaguing the team last season, from injuries to key players, a lack of quality depth and a quarterback with one of the biggest contracts ever in the NFL that couldn't stay off his back, it was going to take some work this off season to get the Falcons back to the level they'd achieved over the past five seasons.

On the Falcons' wish list was a dominant pass rusher, offensive line help and a presence in the defensive backfield.

Some of those needs have been met with May's NFL Draft still to come.

Since the start of free agency on March 11, the Falcons have signed former Chiefs offensive guard Jon Asamoah, Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson and Dolphins' defensive tackle Paul Soliai, adding much needed depth in the trenches that often is the difference between a .500 level team and a division winner.

While the signings may not have the name recognition of a B.J, Raji, who resigned with the Packers, or a Justin Tuck, who left the Giants for the Raiders, or even a DeMarcus Ware, who joined the Broncos from Dallas last week, the signings were just what the Falcons needed - steady additions to an organization that know how to win.

Atlanta got a reboot in the defensive backfield this offseason after cutting defensive backs Asantae Samuel, Thomas DeCoud and linebacker Stephen Nicholas, giving the Falcons a chance to reengineer a defense that gave up nearly 380 total yards a game and 28 points per outing.

With the resigning of veteran defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux, the defensive line will have a leader to look to this season to lead a new crop of players and the Falcons can still bolster their roster with the sixth pick in the draft.

With a healthy offensive unit and a new focus put on both lines, the Falcons have a chance to rebound after their disastrous 2013 campaign. Despite the Buccaneers’' offseason resurgence, they'll still have to find their rhythm under first-year head coach Lovie Smith, and the Saints and Panthers have lost two of their best playmakers is Darren Sproles and Steve Smith, respectively.

The NFC South's tradition of crowning a new division champ annually may continue in 2014, with the Falcons reclaiming their top spot in the division if Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith continue their current pace heading into the start of the season.

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