Last offseason, the Falcons signed Stephen Nicholas to a similar deal to DeCoud’s 5 year, 17.5 million, with 4 million guaranteed. Nicholas was a similar player to DeCoud, an average at best starter, just at a different position. When they made that signing, I said it didn’t make a lot of sense to commit that long of a contract to an average player because you’re basically committing yourself to mediocrity at a position for multiple years. Nicholas didn’t play a whole lot last season, due to injuries and other reasons and the Falcons should be looking for an upgrade for him this offseason, but they can’t because of how much they have committed to him. Sure, maybe DeCoud, only 26, emerges as an above average player, but what if he doesn’t? The good thing is this deal has just 4 million guaranteed, whereas Nicholas’ had 6 (5 years, 17.5 million total).