Atlanta Falcons Should Pursue Better Injury Replacements

Atlanta Falcons Ricardo Allen (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Ricardo Allen (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons Eric Reid (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /


Who the Atlanta Falcons signed:

Sharrod Neasman

The Atlanta Falcons signed Sharrod Neasman from their practice squad to the active roster, to replace Ricardo Allen who was placed on injured reserve. Neasman was signed by Atlanta as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic University in 2016.

Sharrod Neasman has spent both of his NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He has played in 14 career games, mostly playing special teams. He has just three tackles and one forced fumble in his career.

Neasman who stands 6’0 weighing 198 pounds, has taken Rico Allen’s spot on the roster, but certainly won’t take his spot in the starting lineup. He’s here to provide depth and play special teams. There are certainly better options on the market, that could start for the Atlanta Falcons if needed.

Who the team should have signed

Eric Reid

Eric Reid is a 6’1 213 pound safety who can play both free and strong safety. He was drafted number 18 in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, out of LSU. Eric hit the scene with a bang, receiving All Rookie and Pro Bowl accolades in his inaugural season.

Reid a five-year veteran, has a penchant for making big plays, as evidenced by his ten career interceptions. He’s yet to score a defensive touchdown, but has had big interception returns of 53 and 73 yards. Eric also has two forced fumbles and recovered a fumble in his career.

As good as Reid’s production has been, why is he unsigned? One reason is he has been banged up recently. Eric missed nine games over the last two seasons due to injury.

Another possible reason Eric Reid is unsigned could be the fact that he’s controversial. Reid has been the most vocal supporter of former teammate Colin Kaepernick, and his protest against police brutally and social injustice, during the Nation Anthem.

According to Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons’ beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter, Coach Dan Quinn has no interest in singing Eric Reid. He tweeted such on Monday:

I’m hoping that Coach Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff will reverse corse and sign Reid. If not, someone with extensive experience as an NFL starter should be signed.

T.J. Ward

T.J. Ward is an eight year veteran strong safety. He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft, by the Cleveland Browns. After spending four years in Cleveland, Ward signed with Denver and was part of a top-notch defense, winning a Super Bowl at the end of the 2015 Season.

T.J. Ward is a two-time pro bowler. He most recently played with the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is a big hitter, similar to the style that Keanu Neal plays. He’s dislodged ten fumbles from opponents in his career. The veteran also has 8.5 sacks and 8 interceptions.

TJ Ward would certainly be an upgrade over Sharrod Neasman, and likely an upgrade over current starter Jordan Richards. Richards has been sub par so far, in the snaps he’s gotten this season. When Bill Belichick gets rid of a young former second round pick for pennies on the dollar, buyer beware.