Will Chris Hope's Signing End Shann Schillinger's Falcon Career?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Thomas #80 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage past Chris Hope #24 of the Tennessee Titans following a reception during the season opener game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons are continuing to shore up their depth, as you might have noted when they signed Chris Hope last night.

The new Hope is not going to transform this football team, first off. He's not a starting safety, and he's not going to contend for significant snaps unless someone's hurt. But he's got a ton of experience in the NFL and he's a solid safety, and the Falcons signed him because they didn't have a ton of confidence in their depth at the position. That's sensible, considering their depth was basically rookie Charles Mitchell and special teamer Shann Schillinger.

That will change after this. Hope is almost certainly going to make the final roster as a reserve option, and that's going to cost someone their job. Mitchell could be that guy, but he impressed early in camp and is clearly someone the Falcons want to develop. So the likeliest outcome is that Schillinger will get the axe.

Schillinger's put up 19 tackles in two seasons and has done well on special teams, but unless he's grown as a player by leaps and bounds, he's probably the most expendable guy. That would leave Hope and Mitchell behind Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, and that's a much better four than the team had a season ago.

Your thoughts on the safety battles to come?

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