NFC Notes: Dimitroff, Shields, Orakpo, Eagles

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff was put under the microscope by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Dawson Devitt, who published the first part of an exhaustive retrospective analysis of the GM’s transaction history 2008-09, including free agency, cuts, trades, extensions and drafts. The verdict? More good than bad.

Other opinions from NFC writers:

  • Packers free agent cornerback Sam Shields‘ arrow is pointing up, according to’s Rob Demovsky, who says the 26-year-old is worth $7-8MM per year. Shields has blazing speed to run with outside burners and has improved leaps and bounds with his technique and tackling.
  • With Henry Melton, Jay Ratliff and Nate Collins set to hit free agency, defensive tackle “will have to be a top priority” for the Bears, according to ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright, who believes the team will add interior defenders in the draft, via free agency and still attempt to bring back its own free agents.
  • The Redskins can re-sign both Brian Orakpo and Perry Riley provided both players don’t ask for unreasonable deals, says ESPN Washington’s John Keim.
  • Thanks to second-year head coach Chip Kelly’s familiarity with college players, Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin believes the Eagles are in a window when they have a distinct draft advantage. Gosselin cites past examples of Jimmy Johnson‘s move from the University of Miami to the Cowboys, Jim Harbaugh‘s jump from Stanford to the 49ers and Pete Carroll’s escape from USC to the Seahawks when the coaches drafted players they were familiar with, creating the core of winning NFL teams. Kelly, who recruited nationally for Oregon, “spent four years with the Ducks so he has a four-year window when he’ll know the draft board better than the NFL lifers,” contends Gosselin.
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