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What are the Falcons going to do with Tyson Jackson?

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He's bulking up, but for what?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Jackson has endured a rough couple of seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He arrived in 2014 as one of the team's biggest free agent signings and had a middling year, and then Dan Quinn and company arrived in 2015, asked him to drop weight and play leaner, and he had another middling year.

Now Jackson is training with Jay Glazer for the second straight year, but he's bulked back up to 340 pounds, which would seem to point to a new role for Jackson. What we know about T-Jax at this point is essentially this: He's overpaid, he's not going to do much rushing the passer, and kicking him out to end only works when you're trying to put as much beef on the line as possible. The only thing he's still very competent at is stopping the run, and the Falcons currently lack a prototype enormous nose tackle with Paul Soliai hitting the streets, so Jackson would seem to be the choice for that role.

Really, if you're going to keep Jackson around one more year—and I think this will be his last in Atlanta—it's the best way to get use out of him. He should get good run on first and second down beside the likes of Grady Jarrett and Ra'Shede Hageman, while he'll come off the field on third downs in favor of Jarrett, Derrick Shelby, and Jonathn Babineaux. Dan Quinn loves to have quality rotations along his defensive front, and having Jackson playing the part of the clog in the middle of the line should keep some of those other guys fresh for clear passing situations, which has value.

It's sad that Jackson is unlikely to go down as more than a middling success, which makes him the latest in a long line of poor free agent signings by this front office, but at least he has a clear path to playing time and likely a job, which Paul Soliai can't say for money-related reasons. Things are a little crowded up front for Atlanta, so players like Ra'Shede Hageman and Malliciah Goodman can't say the same.