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Senior NFL Columnist

Free-agent musings: Falcons smart to lock up safety Moore

The Falcons did the smart thing by retaining William Moore with a new five-year contract before he hit the market. Moore is one of the most-improved safeties in the game, and he has the range you need in this pass-happy league. More than that, he's a willing tackler. With Moore and Thomas DeCoud on the back end, the Falcons have one of the best young tandems in the game. Now all they need to do to let them show it even more is to improve the pass rush. It's tough on a back end when the pass rush isn't great. A guy to keep an eye on there is young defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi. The front office thinks he can develop into a quality edge rusher. Next up for the Falcons is re-signing left tackle Sam Baker, who is coming off his best season. He was their best tackle in 2012.

The Chiefs agreed on a contract with former Falcons corner Dunta Robinson -- who was let go to create cap room last week -- and will pair him with Brandon Flowers as the starting corners. Robinson is a solid player who will help a pass defense that struggled in a big way in 2012. This will likely take the Falcons out of the corner market, which means a player like Sean Smith, who was linked to them, will be going elsewhere.

The report that Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin needs to take a pay cut or be cut isn't surprising. He is 32, doesn't run that well, and has a salary of $6 million. He is great at catching passes when covered, something he has done his entire career, but he doesn't run that well. And he will be a year older in 2013. He said he would retire rather than play for a team other than the Ravens. Bet he doesn't. The Ravens have to be aiming to keep linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

So the Arizona Cardinals put a second-round tender on quarterback Brian Hoyer. Why? There may have been some talk that teams were interested in him, but let's not forget Hoyer was available to all teams when he was released by New England last year. The Steelers signed him late in the season when injuries hit at quarterback and then was let go before Arizona picked him up. He's a quality backup, but it shocks me that some thought he would be a hot commodity.

Early league rumblings: The young players will be getting the action and the old players will get little. That's just what I'm hearing.

The talk that the Buccaneers might be interested in Jaguars corner Derek Cox makes sense. They need a corner and Cox is a quality cover player. The only problem is he can't stay on the field. Injuries have kept him out of 14 games the past two seasons.

With Brian Hartline signing in Miami, the Dolphins need to add the speed complement in Mike Wallace. Hartline is a nice No. 2. He isn't a No. 1. Wallace would help stretch the field and give Ryan Tannehill a nice 1-2 punch.

Prediction of the week: Running backs are not going to be happy this free-agency period. That is a position that won't get paid. Watch. Why would you? Two words: Alfred Morris.

I keep hearing a lot of teams high on Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger. I'd be careful. He's a good player who is likely to be paid great-player money. That's dangerous. The Browns and Colts have been linked to him.

If you hear any talk of big-dollar free agents linked to the Jaguars, you can forget about the validity of that. They will not spend on top-ticket items, according to the team. Why? They are two years away from being competitive. What they will do is sign one or two, small-ticket players and then try to accumulate a ton of cap room in the next couple of years by stacking the roster with draft picks. Don't be shocked to see 20-25 rookies on their team in 2013.

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