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Falcons Sign Safety Charles Godfrey, Waive Fellow S Sean Baker

The Falcons didn't make a trade at the deadline, but they've made a move for the former Panthers safety.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

True to form, the Falcons aren't making any trades at the deadline this afternoon. They did make a signing, however, and it's one that indicates a level of discomfort with what they have at safety.

Godfrey, 28, had spent his entire career with the Panthers. He was a full-time starter as recently as 2012, but only appeared in two games in 2013 thanks to injury and wound up being cut after seven games this season thanks to middling play. He has been solid throughout his career in coverage, per multiple Panthers fans, but looked a little slow and tentative coming off his ACL Injury in the early parts of 2014 and struggled when asked to play nickel back for Carolina.

The move doesn't look great for Kemal Ishmael, who has been a hard hitter and effective in run support, but middling to lousy in coverage. That 3rd and 25 conversion by the Lions likely was at least part of the impetus for the move. Scott Carasik raises the idea that the Falcons may have been interested in Godfrey from the moment he was released but were unable to sign him due to the whirlwind London trip, but we'll have to see if that's borne out by his playing time.

Whether Godfrey's going to steal snaps away from Ishmael or handle special teams and third safety in clear cover situations while Dezmen Southward takes over for Ishmael at SS remains to be seen, but either way, Ishmael's probably played 100% of the defensive snaps for the last week. Nolan likes to mix and match at safety, and Godfrey, Ishmael and Southward will likely all get some snaps. The question is how Nolan will divvy them up, and who winds up filling the Sean Baker memorial role on special teams.

Sean Baker was waived in a corresponding move. Baker had played fairly well on special teams, but wasn't offering the team anything on defense. He has a chance to head back to the practice squad or catch on with another team.

It's not lost on me that the Falcons have, for all intents and purposes, swapped safeties after Thomas DeCoud went to Carolina. It just took until eight weeks in the season.

I'll be diving in further tomorrow morning to the possibility of Dezmen Southward getting more snaps in this defense, so stay tuned for that.

Your thoughts on the signing?