The Falcons made one of the most curious decisions you’ll see a team make during final roster cuts, when they chose not to briefly cut ties with tight end Josh Perkins and add him to their practice squad. Whether they feared losing him or saw a true gem in the making, no one was sure, but they’ve held on to Perkins ever since.
That was the kind of move that was not intended to pay off this season, per se, but it looks like it’s going to now.
Matt Ryan singled out Joshua Perkins as a guy who could step up with Jacob Tamme out for the season, now that Perkins has games under belt.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) November 22, 2016
Perkins has gotten some minimal playing time and has had a couple of plays that haven’t gone his way, earning that familiar ire that rookies who screw up have to grapple with. The Falcons think he’s got the athletic ability, hands, and size to be a genuine contributor down the line, and with Tamme gone and Austin Hooper looking like the only true receiving threat the Falcons have at the position, Perkins is going to get a crack at contributing over the last six weeks of the season.
Good teams find undrafted free agent diamonds in the rough, as Atlanta has already done with Brian Poole this year. If Perkins can show the form that made him a useful weapon in Washington’s offense during his collegiate days, he can probably carve out a role as Hooper’s backup for a few years, at minimum. He will need to show he can block, of course, but that didn’t stop Jacob Tamme from starting, so hell.
Spare some of your attention for Perkins in the weeks ahead. I’d love to see him justify the Falcons carrying him all year with his play down the stretch.