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Falcons free agency rumors: Atlanta interested in guard Shelley Smith

The veteran zone blocking guard could be headed to Atlanta for a visit, but he's not at the moment.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons don't have a starting left guard at the moment, so it's little surprise they're being linked to a potential option.

Smith, 27, has drawn interest from and visits with both the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, who are also shopping for linemen that fit within their zone blocking schemes. Without a visit this is little more than a well-sourced rumor for now, but let's dive in regardless.

Why it makes sense

Smith is right in what should be the prime of his career, he's started 11 games and he has experience playing in the kind of zone blocking scheme Kyle Shanahan hopes to implement. His familiarity with the system and experience means he could probably come right now and start for the Falcons over, say, Harland Gunn and Mike Person.

Why it doesn't make sense

He was cut by the Dolphins, he's bounced all over the NFL and he's never been able to grab and hold down a starting job. There may be some upside here I'm not seeing, but more than likely Smith would be a temporary starting option, a useful enough backup or veteran competition for a rookie, not the outright choice to start. The Falcons seem reasonably set at the other four positions on the line, but left guard isn't a spot I like to leave up to chance.



Smith wouldn't be an inspiring choice for this Falcons team, but as a stopgap choice at left guard, he makes sense and would likely be reasonably priced, given that he was released by Miami after signing a two-year, $5.5 million deal. If the Falcons have legitimate interest, they just have to out-jockey Denver and Seattle.