Jamon Brown signed a three-year contract worth up to 18.75 million dollars. He received 5.5 million dollars up front in a signing bonus and 12.5 million in total guarantees. At 6’4 and 340 pounds, Brown is the biggest offensive lineman that the Falcons have had in quite some time. He is expected to compete with Brandon Fusco for the starting right guard position. Fusco who was last year’s top free agent signing, played solidly before breaking his ankle and ending his season. The most concerning thing about Jamon Brown, is he had a tendency to allow his hands to get outside of the opponent’s chest. This caused Brown to be called for eight penalties, despite starting just eight games last year. Penalties by the offensive line have been major drive killers for the Atlanta Falcons in the past and Brown certainly doesn’t appear to be a solution in this department.
James Carpenter stands at 6’1 and weighs 321 pounds, making him the second biggest man on the offensive line. Pass protection was has best strong suite last year, with him grading a 71.9 for the category. The concern is his run blocking was well below average. He posted a career low grade of 51.4 as a run blocker.
Though Carpenter did not play well last season, he has played well in the past, giving the Atlanta Falcons hope. James posted a career high Pro Football Focus of grade of 83.4 in 2015, his first year with the New York Jets. He followed that up with a solid 76.2 grade the following season in 2016, before his production slipped the last two seasons. Carpenter was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during Dan Quinn’s tenure there as a defensive coordinator. So not only is Dan Quinn familiar with his skill set, he also knows the practice habits and work ethic that Carpenter possesses. Hopefully for the Atlanta Falcons sake, they are still getting the same player that Dan Quinn knows. I expressed my doubts about Carpenter as well as Brown here.
Though Dan Quinn has said that the Atlanta Falcons will stick with the zone blocking scheme, the move of getting two larger guards seems to signal that the team will use some runs that involve a power blocking scheme as well. The hope is that the added size improves the team’s ability to convert in short yardage running situations. This has been an achilles heal for Atlanta for many years. In addition the team has also struggled in the red zone. The hope is that being able to run the ball more effectively in close quarters, will open up the passing game even more, thus repairing the red zone issues.
The team moved on from often injured guard Andy Levitre. They also released tackle Ryan Schraeder who’s play had declined sharply. Schrader had been the starter at right tackle since 2014.