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Dontari Poe not expected to return to the Falcons, per Thomas Dimitroff

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The Falcons will be in the market for defensive tackles, plural.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Dontari Poe was the biggest signing of the 2017 offseason for the Atlanta Falcons, in more ways than one. The massive defensive tackle was a big name, a big guy, and an impact player for Atlanta, which saw its defense improves by leaps and bounds last season.

Poe is unfortunately a free agent now, and today we learned that Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons don’t expect him to return to Atlanta. The defense tackle rotation, as of today, is basically Grady Jarrett, Jack Crawford, and flotsam and jetsam.

Poe, who is still in the prime of his career, finished last year with 2.5 sacks and 23 tackles. There was many an argument as to Poe’s potential impact when he landed in Atlanta prior to 2017, but he proved a stout, reliable addition to the Falcons’ defensive front on his one-year prove-it deal.

Funny how those things work out sometimes.

Poe has an established track record as a space-eater in the running game who can also pressure the quarterback, so he’s well in line for a long-term commitment and raise in pay. It appears it won’t be in Atlanta, however.

So the Falcons head into the NFL Combine a little less deep than they were yesterday at defensive tackle, an area they were already widely expected to address early on in the draft. This greatly increases the chances that the Falcons ultimately use their first pick (and if not, certainly their second) to address the position. As the combine kicks into full gear we’ll keep a keen eye on many of the intriguing prospects on the interior defensive line.

We wish Dontari Poe the best wherever he lands.