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 Dwight Freeney (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Defensive End

Who The Atlanta Falcons Signed:

Steven Means

Steven Means was signed on September 10, to add depth to a position that was thin for the Atlanta Falcons. Surprisingly the Dirty Birds had only kept four edge defenders on the roster coming out of the preseason.

Steven Means saw his first action of the season, playing 18 snaps against the sAints, replacing the injured Derek Shelby in the rotation. The 6’3 263 pound Means has played in 27 games and started zero. Means is clearly just a depth addition.

With the Dirty Birds’ pass rush ranking 28th in the NFL, the club would had been better served signing a proven NFL pass rusher than Steven Means.

Who the Atlanta Falcons Should Have Signed

Dwight Freeney

The Atlanta Falcons are very familiar with Future Hall of Fame edge rusher Dwight Freeney. Dwight played with the Falcons in 2016, helping them reach the Super Bowl. He registered three of his 125.5 career sacks for the Dirty Birds.

The biggest impact Dwight Freeney had, was on the development of young defensive end Vic Beasley. Under the tutelage of Freeney, Beasley jumped from four sacks his rookie year to an NFL leading 15.5 sacks.

Freeney seems to still have something in the tank. He brought the quarterback down three times in just nine games last season, with the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks. However if his signing could get Vic Beasley back ok track, he would be invaluable.

 Junior Galette

Junior Galette is the youngest accomplished edge rusher that’s still available. He is 6’2 257 pounds and played most of his career with division rival New Orleans. Junior logged 31.5 of his career 34.5 sacks with the hated rival.

Galette was quickly becoming one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, after recording 12 sacks in 2013, and following that up with 10 in 2014. Unfortunately for him, he tore his achilles in back to back seasons, missing all of the 2015 & 2016 seasons.

Junior Galette returned from a two-year hiatus, to compile 20 tackles and three sacks with the Washington Redskins. He also forced a fumble. Now that he’s two years removed from season ending surgery, Junior Galette should be even better this season.

The fact that the Atlanta Falcons have the 28th ranked pass rush, means it couldn’t hurt to sign Galette to a one year deal.

Hopefully the current Atlanta Falcons defense will be able to stop the bleeding with the personnel that they have. However if things don’t improve rapidly, the team needs to take a second look at these Free Agents and more.

The Super Bowl is in Atlanta this year, so the Falcons should do everything in their power, short of mortgaging the future, to be the first team to win a ring in their home stadium.

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