Is Bart Scott a Fit for the Falcons?

Doug Pensinger

Linebacker Bart Scott has been on the free agent market since he was cut by the New York Jets in February, and he is rumored to be close to choosing a team for 2013. Let's look at the pros and cons of taking a flier on Scott.

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott was cut by the Jets in February in order to save $7.15 million in cap space, and he's been on the market ever since, hindered primarily by questions about his recovery from offseason surgery to address turf toe that ended his impressive streak of 119 consecutive games played.

Linebacker is a position where the Falcons have some depth issues--there are some promising young players currently on the roster, but as far as tested veteran depth, it's not there--so could Bart Scott be a fit for the Falcons? Let's look at the pros and cons.


Scott has been consistently productive, even though his stats did taper off significantly in 2012. Last season, despite playing most of the year afflicted with the severe turf toe injury he sustained in week three, he managed 36 solo tackles and 24 assists, plus 2.5 sacks, one pass deflected, and one interception. In 2011, he locked up 54 solo tackles and 12 assists, plus 4.5 sacks and one pass deflected. The Jets defense was a powerhouse in 2009 and 2010, when they went to the AFC Championship in back-to-back seasons, and Bart Scott was a key element of their success.

Bart Scott has swagger, and if he were to become a Falcon, we could have so much fun with the whole "Can't Wait" thing.

According to, a source close to the situation has confirmed that Scott is fully recovered from surgery and is healthier than he has been in over a year.


Scott will be 33 in a few days, and is coming off offseason surgery for an injury that clearly impacted his performance last season.

Bart Scott is obnoxious. While he was still with the Ravens, he picked up a ref's flag and threw it, which didn't go over well. He has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for flipping off a reporter in the Jets' locker room, and he called out Jets fans last season after being made aware of some admittedly hateful comments they made about the Jets, saying that those fans were probably the people who were picked last in dodgeball. Even former Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, Scott's teammate in Baltimore, wasn't particularly impressed with Scott's mouth after the Falcons beat the Jets in 2009.

To add insult to injury, Pro Football Focus ranked Bart Scott dead last in their tackling efficiency ratings, which is a measurement of a player's number of missed tackles per tackle attempts, for 2012. As a comparative measure: Akeem Dent ended up with a tackling efficiency rating of 8, which placed him 68th on a list of 87 linebackers. Scott's tackling efficiency rating was 4.6, the worst of the 87.

There are some drawbacks to signing Bart Scott, and he has not been linked to the Falcons in any way, but linebacker is a position of concern for the Falcons. Do you think they should kick the tires on Scott? Discuss!

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