Reporters’ notebook: Falcons still have contract decisions to make

072922 Flowery Branch, Ga.: Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (24) during training camp at the Falcons Practice Facility, Friday, July 29, 2022, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

072922 Flowery Branch, Ga.: Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (24) during training camp at the Falcons Practice Facility, Friday, July 29, 2022, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Jason Getz /

The following, a weekly feature of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, allows our reporters to open their notebooks and provide even more information from our local teams that we cover daily. We think you’ll find it informative, insightful and fun.

Terrell, Dalman contract situations up in the air

With the tampering penalty handed down by the NFL, the next order of business for the Falcons is when to grant a contract extension to cornerback A.J. Terrell and possibly center Drew Dalman, according to CBS Sports business analyst Joel Corry.

“That’s a hard one to do because he hasn’t had his best years,” Corry said. “Two years ago, was the best. He hasn’t played as well as he could (have). That’s a tough one, plus cornerback market has been stagnant. "

The Falcons picked up Terrell’s $12.34 million fifth-year option for the coming season and have not completed a long-term deal like they did with guard Chris Lindstrom last year.

Terrell, who played at Westlake High and Clemson, can play next season under his rookie deal, but the team and Terrell will need to reach an agreement on an extension to keep him from potentially becoming a free agent next offseason.

Tennessee recently signed cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to a four-year, $76 million deal.

“Terrell is going to be a hard one to do,” Corry said. “His financial expectations may not match his performance of recent.”

Dalman, who’s started 31 games and played in 48 after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, is in the final year of his rookie deal.

“Are they going to do anything with (center) Drew Dalman?” Corry said. “He’s in a contract year. (With) the coaching change (maybe) they are going to take a wait-and-see approach with him.”

Dalman was considered the most improved player for the Falcons by Pro Football Focus. He had a 65.9 grade in 2022 and improved to 82.3 in 2023. He tried to battle through a right ankle injury but missed three games in 2023. He ranked third among centers in PFF grades, largely because of his run-blocking prowess (90.0).

Corry recently wrote about how Justin Jefferson’s (four-year, $140 million) contract with the Vikings will impact the wide receiver market, which really is going to help the Bengals’ JaMarr Chase. He also wrote about how the Cowboys would have benefitted from being proactive with quarterback Dak Prescott’s contract.

“If they don’t want to pay him near the top of the market, a compromised situation like what the Lions did with Matthew Stafford in 2013 on a three-year deal (would have helped),” Corry said.

Robinson, Allgeier to compete in cornhole event

Falcons running backs Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson are set to compete in the American Cornhole League SuperHole V tournament Saturday in Milwaukee.

Each player will be paired with an ACL pro to form a double team to compete for a chance to advance to the championship event.

The players will support the cause of their choice with a logo on their jersey and cornhole bags. Allgeier will support the Best Friends Animal society and Robinson, the Bijan Robinson Foundation.

Lamprecht honored

Georgia Tech’s Christo Lamprecht was named the ACC men’s golf scholar-athlete of the year, the league announced this week.

Lamprecht, a senior from George, South Africa, also was named the 2024 ACC player of the year before the start of the NCAA regionals. Before turning professional following the NCAA Championships, Lamprecht was ranked No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and No. 4 in the final Scoreboard individual rankings.

During the 2023-24 season, Lamprecht won two individual titles and posted four top-three finishes, including tying for third at the 2024 ACC Championship in April.

In May, Lamprecht was named the 2024 recipient of the Byron Nelson Award, which is bestowed annually to the outstanding Division I, II, III, or NAIA scholar-athlete of the year. The recipient, a graduating senior, is recognized for their achievement in the classroom, on the course and in their community. The senior became the ninth player from the ACC to win the award and first Yellow Jacket to earn the honor since Anders Albertson in 2015. Lamprecht also was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, Fred Haskins Award and the Jack Nicklaus Award and was one of four ACC players to earn PING All-America status.

Lamprecht becomes the fifth Tech player to earn the ACC scholar-athlete Award joining Anders Albertson (2015), Ollie Schniederjans (2014), James White (2011 and 2012) and Cameron Tringale (2009).

Georgia sends two to USA Baseball training

Georgia’s Tre Phelps and Kolten Smith will be among the premier non-draft-eligible college players participating in the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (CNT) Training Camp next week in Cary, North Carolina.

Phelps, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound infielder/outfielder from Kennesaw, earned second-team, freshman All-American honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) as well as freshman All-SEC by the league coaches. He batted .353 with 11 doubles, 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 42 games while making 34 starts at five different positions.

Smith, a 6-3, 210-pound sophomore right-hander from Ocala, Florida, led the Bulldogs in wins with a 9-3 mark and 5.56 ERA. In 69-2/3 innings, he tallied a team-high 105 strikeouts and only 20 walks. Smith made 20 appearances with four starts. In SEC action, Smith was 7-2 with a 4.80 ERA, including a road win over then top-ranked Texas A&M to earn Pitcher of the Week honors.

Phelps and Smith helped the Bulldogs to a 43-17 record and an NCAA Super Regional appearance as a No. 7 national seeds under first-year coach Wes Johnson. UGA All-American Charlie Condon played for USA’s national collegiate team last summer.

UGA’s Kulichenko, Morales Williams named athlete of year

UGA junior high jumper Elena Kulichenko and sprinter Christopher Morales Williams each were named athlete of the year for the South Region in their respective disciplines by U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Morales Williams, who also was the indoor South Region Runner of the Year, gives the Georgia men back-to-back winners after NCAA champion Will Sumner won the award in 2023. Kulichenko is the eighth Lady Bulldog to earn this accolade and first since Jasmine Moore in 2021.

A native of Odintsovo, Russia, Kulichenko cleared school and meet record mark of 1.97 meters (or 6 feet, 5½ inches) to win UGA’s first NCAA women’s high jump title since 2017. She is the No. 4 all-time collegiate performer and No. 7 on the 2024 world list. Kulichenko won six of seven outdoor meets in 2024.

Morales Williams, who hails from Vaughn, Ontario, recently won Georgia’s first NCAA 400-meter outdoor title with a time of 44.47. He set the Canadian, school, meet and facility records with a 44.05 to win the SEC 400 championship to start the postseason. That completed an indoor-outdoor SEC sweep for Morales Williams. His time at the SEC Outdoor made him the No. 6 all-time collegiate performer and the current world leader in the 400. He also qualified for the NCAA championships as a member of UGA’s 4x100 relay team.

Both athletes are attempting to qualify for this summer’s Paris Olympics.

Still to early to watch the standings

The Braves have played better, which has helped them trim a little bit into the Phillies’ lead atop the National League East. Fans will follow those day-to-day developments. The Braves, though, are just trying to get themselves back going and won’t be concerned with results outside their control. At least not yet.

“It’s definitely too early,” first baseman Matt Olson told the AJC. “Even toward the end of the year, you’re really not benefiting anything by looking at it, up or down. Just continue to put your head down and do the day-by-day stuff and hopefully that stuff falls into place.”

Beck gets praise

Georgia quarterback Carson Beck was the first quarterback listed in ESPN analyst Jordan Reid’s early look at the 2025 quarterback draft class. Reid applauded Beck as a rhythm passer and noted his advanced mental process in diagnosing defenses.

As for where Beck needs to improve this season, Reid shared the following:

“Beck isn’t the kind of QB who will consistently make plays outside the framework of the offense. He has enough mobility to get himself out of harm’s way in the pocket, but creating extra opportunities will always be a challenge. And while Beck has a good arm, inconsistent footwork and finishes on throws have led to erratic ball placement in short-to-intermediate areas; some of his passes lose velocity as they arrive at the target. He has been a beneficiary of quick-throw offense, averaging 8.0 air yards per attempt (78th in the FBS). Now entering his second season as a starter, Beck might have more opportunities to execute deeper concepts.”

This could be a good year of quarterback play in the SEC. Beyond Beck, Reid also noted the following SEC passers on his NFL watch list: Quinn Ewers (Texas), Jaxson Dart (Ole Miss), Jalen Milroe (Alabama), Garrett Nussmeier (LSU), Conner Weigman (Texas A&M), Brady Cook (Missouri), Graham Mertz (Florida) and Brock Vandagriff (Kentucky).

Here’s a fair question: Why is there no love for Georgia Tech quarterback Haynes King? He has the pedigree as a former top recruit and finally showed the production a season ago. He’s a fourth-year junior, and while he might lack the imposing physical tools of some touted prospects, he feels a bit too under the radar. Tech has much of its offensive production returning with King and newly extended offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner, so perhaps the quarterback becomes better known nationally with another standout campaign.

-Staff writers Chad Bishop, Chip Towers, Gabriel Burns and D. Orlando Ledbetter contributed to this report.