The Falcons are facing a lot of decisions this off-season and that starts with their 14 unrestricted free agents. We will go through them one by one and decide whether or not the Falcons should re-sign them. A lot of times it's not as easy as it looks as some decisions have more than just roster spot implications. We also have to think about the salary cap as it is expected to increase by just $200,000 this season.
We consider fullback Mike Cox after the jump.
Mike Cox is not only great at helping you find out if your Google image search is off "Safe Mode" but he is a well-rounded player that has received a roster spot thanks to his good play on special teams. Cox was signed to a two-year deal way back when Ovie Mughelli suffered a knee injury in 2011. Atlanta was so smitten with the former Kansas City Chief that he was locked up for two seasons.
With that being said, Atlanta's run game struggled after Ovie's injury. Atlanta then used one of their few 2012 draft picks to take the 2nd fullback off of the board. That fullback tore his ACL and the Falcons brought in Lousaka Polite to replace Bradie Ewing. Cox lost the camp battle ans wasn't seen again until November after Atlanta cut ties with Polite.
2013 will have Bradie Ewing returning to the starting fullback spot, hopefully opening up bigger holes than seen in 2012 for a runningback with more juice than Michael Turner. Jason Snelling serves as a backup fullback… so maybe Cox has to be really really good at special teams?
The AJC believes Mike Cox's return is likely but that he will have to fight with Bradie Ewing for the starting spot. I can make this real easy: short of an embarassing display by Ewing… and even still, Atlanta will be keeping Ewing. Dimitroff has shown to be patient with his draft picks and will play his draft picks over a comparable free agent.
Dirk Koetter's pass-heavy offense minimizes the use of the fullback. It would be a near impossibility Atlanta locks up a roster spot for a fullback/special teamer when we already have a runningback/fullback/special teamer in Jason Snelling. In order to guarantee a roster spot on the Falcons roster you need to have a lot of talent of be extremely versatile. Unfortunately for Cox the roster already has one of each for his position.
Verdict: Cox will be signed as a camp body to provide a bit of competition and help transition Bradie Ewing into the starting position. He will probably last until final roster cutdowns before the regular season.