Free Agency Countdown: Weems back, Rodgers headed for free agency

Editor's note: Prior to the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. Tuesday, AJC.Com is counting down the top unrestricted free agents the Atlanta Falcons must decide on this offseason. At the combine general manager Thomas Dimitroff stated that team met with agents for linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, special teamer Eric Weems and nose tackle Corey Peters. The Team is working hard on a deal with Weatherspoon, while Peters is headed to free agency. Weems was re-signed on Friday.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons wide receiver and special teams standout Eric Weems signed a two-year contract on Friday, according to the team.

Dependable running back Jacquizz Rodgers appears headed for free agency.

Teams are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2014 contracts at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10.

Weems was re-signed during the season after a previous stint with the Falcons from 2007 to 2011.

He signed as a free agent with Chicago and played two seasons with the Bears. After being released by the Bears on Aug. 8, the Falcons re-signed Weems on Aug. 21.

Weems, who went to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player after the 2010 season. Weems, 29, is a former undrafted player from Bethune-Cookman.

After a storied career at Oregon State, Rodgers was a fifth-round pick (145th overall) in the 2011 draft. He has played in 63 games and made five starts.

Rodgers, 25, has been a solid blocker in passing situations and has caught 155 passes for 1,104 yards. He caught more than 50 passes in 2012 and 2013.

Rodgers has not been effective running the ball from scrimmage as he’s averaged a paltry 3.7 yards per carry. The Falcons offensive line woes over the past two seasons were certainly a contributing factor.

Eric Weems, eight-year veteran

The skinny: Has re-signed with the Falcons.

The snaps: He played 202 snaps and caught 10 of 11 targets in the passing game.

The stats: Weems Led the team in special teams' tackles with 13. He also had 10 catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

2014 salary: $730,000

Jacquizz Rodgers, four-year veteran

The skinny: Headed for unrestricted free agency status

The snaps: He played 360 snaps on offense.

The stats: He had 58 rushes for 217 yards and one touchdown. He caught 29 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown.

2014 salary: $1.436 million with a performance escalator.

FALCONS POTENTIAL UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

DB Javier Arenas

LB Kroy Biermann

K Matt Bryant - signed a three-year contract extension.

G-T Gabe Carimi

S Charles Godfrey --has re-signed with the team.

G Mike Johnson

S Dwight Lowery

DE Cliff Matthews re-signed a two-year contract on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

CB Robert McClain

TE Bear Pascoe is not returning to the team.

DT Corey Peters is likely headed for free agency. Team has a lot of cash tied up in Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai. Also, snaps would free up for development of Rashede Hageman.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers

OT Jonathan Scott

RB Antone Smith

DE Osi Umenyiora

LB Sean Weatherspoon Team is working hard on this deal, but Arizona may be waiting in the wings to make a big push for him.

WR Eric Weems

CB Josh Wilson

Explore QB T.J. Yates

FALCONS STORIES

Falcons to focus on adding another cornerstone

Quinn-Dimitroff partnership off to a strong start

Q&A with Falcons head coach Dan Quinn at the combine

Falcons coach Dan Quinn fired up to watch pass-rushers

Q&A with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff on moving forward

Falcons to keep character filter on draft picks

Falcons close to re-signing kicker Matt Bryant

Falcons LT Jake Matthews recovering from offseason surgery

Falcons plan to extend WR Julio Jones contract

Falcons could target Denver TE Julius Thomas in free agency

Falcons' roster gutting could have big names (i.e. Steven Jackson)

Cutting the Falcons roster -- Should they stay or should they go?

COMBINE STORIES

Todd Gurley speaks about autograph-signing caper

Bucs appear set to cast future with Jameis Winston

Todd Gurley intriguing prospect to NFL teams

Explore Alabama stars Cooper, Collins headed for first round

Chris Conley puts on a dazzling show at the combine

Waller, Smelter out to prove NFL standing at the combine

VIDEO DEPARTMENT

Watch: D. Led -- Falcons news at the combine

Watch: NFL Network's Mike Mayock at the combine

Explore Watch: Jameis Winston to throw at the combine

Watch: Todd Gurley has interviews set up with 24 NFL teams

Watch: Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff at the combine

Watch: Falcons coach Dan Quinn at the combine

Watch: Rams GM Les Snead on the pass-rush talent at the combine

FALCONS COMBINE MEETINGS

Oregon DE Arik Armstead talked scheme with the Falcons

Falcons met with Alabama quarterback Blake Sims

Falcons to meet with Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr.

Falcons met with Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

Falcons met with Alabama safety Landon Collins

PHOTO GALLERIES

Photographs from the 2015 NFL scouting combine

Photos of players with Georgia ties at the scouting combine

Photos of NFL pass rusher set to enter free agency