As one of the oldest Falcons on the roster, Jonathan Babineaux's long, but extremely productive career is winding down. Don't let that get you all sad though. This 2nd round pick from the 2005 NFL Draft still has a great chance to contribute going forward.
Keeping a role while remaining a mentor in 2015
At 6'2" and 300lbs, Babineaux is a scary man to have barreling towards you. Despite being 34 years old and surrounded by talent on the interior of the defensive line, Babs managed to be on the field for over 52.2% of the time, and posted numbers similar to those of the last three years. With an interception, a fumble, and 6 stuffs, he's proving to everyone that the Babineaux family ages with grace.
Rising stars like Ra'Shede Hageman and Grady Jarrett are two guys who benefit the most from Babineaux's presence, and the vet has more than enough experience in the league to share. In 2015, Grady became one of Atlanta's most productive players on a per snap basis, and Ra'Shede saw more flashes in his growing role. Surely Babineaux has at least a minuscule part in some of that development.
Babineaux is entering the final year of his contract, and his roster spot next season should be safe. According to spotrac.com, his cap hit is 2.67 million, which is a small price to pay for a productive rotational piece.
What's in store for 2016?
Babineaux looks to have another productive year under defensive guru Dan Quinn, but don't be surprised if Hageman and Jarrett begin dominating the snap counts sooner rather than later. His experience in the league will benefit new players and give the rotation a reliable piece if needed on pass rushing downs. The U.S.S Babineaux will not be stopped.
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