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 Bruce Carter (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /


Who the Atlanta Falcons Signed:

Bruce Carter

The Atlanta Falcons made a move to add more experience at linebacker, signing veteran Bruce Carter. Rookie linebacker Richard Jarvis was waived to make room for Bruce. Carter a 6’2 240 pound linebacker, was originally a second round pick, number 40 overall, by the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.

Bruce Carter has also played with the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the New York Jets thus far in his career, so Atlanta becomes his fourth team. Bruce has made 36 starts as an NFL player, but only four in the last three seasons. Injuries have been a concern.

Other than experience, Bruce Carter brings leadership and coverage ability. Bruce has five interceptions, and has broken up a respectable 20 passes in his career. He also has notched five sacks.

Bruce Carter with his experience, is a guy that could possibly start at middle linebacker or weak side linebacker, should Duke Riley or Foyesade Oluokun not get the job done. He could even be a guy that Dan Quinn trusts to get the other payers lined up, once he has the system down pat.

I like the Carter signing, and would grade it a B- given the circumstances. However there are other players who would have worked just as well.

Who Else the Falcons Could Have Signed:

Lawrence Timmons

Lawrence Timmons is a 32-year-old linebacker who made 14 starts for the Miami Dolphins last season. The ten-year veteran is mostly identified as a Pittsburgh Steeler, having spent nine of his ten seasons there.

Lawrence made his only Pro Bowl in 2014, and has registered six seasons with 100 plus combined tackles. Timmons has great awareness, having 12 career interceptions. He’s also forced 13 fumbles and recover seven in his ten season.

Timmons who measures at 6’1 234 pounds, brings an added bonus, as he also played the role of edge rusher for Pittsburgh. Timmons has 35.5 quarterback takedowns, with a high of seven sacks, in his best pass rushing season. Signing him could be a two birds with one stone scenario.

NaVorro Bowman

NaVorro Bowman is the most decorated linebacker still available as a free agent. He’s a three-time Pro Bowl player and four-time All Pro.

The eight year veteran has played all but ten games of his illustrious career with the San Francisco 49ers organization. He was on the 2012 team that defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game.

Most recently Bowman played 10 games with the Raiders last year. He has piled up nearly 800 combined tackles in the NFL. Bowman has forced nine fumbles, recovered six fumbles, and brought down the quarterback 14 times, in 7 seasons played. He missed the entire 2014 season with a knee injury.

Sean Weatherspoon

I’m just making sure you’re paying attention. I’m not seriously suggesting that the Falcons bring the injury prone Spoon back. I enjoyed watching him play here, but he just doesn’t have anything left in the tank.