Tyson Clabo excited by prospect of free agency

The Atlanta Falcons gave Matt Ryan another offensive weapon when they made a bold trade up during the draft to select wide receiver Julio Jones in the first round.

<p> The quarterback is going to need some protection to take the Falcons to the next level, though, and for that Arthur Blank is going to have to shell out some big bucks. Right tackle Tyson Clabo and starting guards Justin Blalock and Harvey Dahl are all free agents. The Falcons will have to lay out a lot of cash to keep the trio in place. If not, it becomes a question of prioritizing the players.

While left tackles can be paid considerable more than right tackles, Clabo could command one of the top salaries for his position in the league and easily exceed $6 million annually.

I’m excited (about free agency),” Clabo told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s something that I felt that I’d earned last year and didn’t get. So the prospect of actually getting there is exciting. But, I don’t really know if I will get there because, hopefully, Atlanta will do what they need to do to keep me. Obviously, I want to be in Atlanta. But the thing about that, only time will tell.”

The former NFL Europe veteran was a Pro Bowl performer last season and the Falcons had one of the stronger lines in the league. Atlanta has done a good job of securing a lot of its young talent early and that makes this situation a little unusual with 60 percent of the line in a position to potentially exit.

That is why they say the first step in free agency is always re-signing your own players.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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