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Report: Falcons “very interested” in free agent tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins

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It’d be an interesting signing by the Falcons, but it fills a big need for a red-zone pass catcher with experience with Steve Sarkisian.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

We have been predicting the Atlanta Falcons will look to upgrade their tight ends, and that was before they cut Levine Toilolo. The roster currently includes only two tight ends: third-year Austin Hooper, and second-year Eric Saubert. Hooper did not quite reach expectations in his sophomore season, and Saubert was only occasionally given a shot at blocking.

Atlanta could use another weapon, and they’ve been linked to one that was amazing at University of Washington. That’s right, under head coach Steve Sarkisian. Here’s the blurb from Jason La Canfora of CBS News.

New York very much wants to retain tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. There will be plenty of competition to keep him, however, with the Seahawks and Falcons among those very interested.

Do keep in mind that La Canfora is one of the more scattershot insiders in the NFL, meaning that we have no idea exactly how reliable this report is. As a reminder, La Canfora said earlier this offseason that Sarkisian was expected to be the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. Obviously, that was wrong, along with a long line of other news from La Canfora. His accuracy has been Joe Flacco-esque ever since he left the official NFL Network.

If the Falcons do believe in Hooper, as I think they do, signing someone like Ed Dickson or ASJ to be the second option in the offense is a smart move that won’t come with major costs. Atlanta does not need to sign an elite tight end, but getting a competent second-tier player would help open up an offense that was sadly missing weapons outside of the running backs and Julio Jones.

We aren’t sure exactly what Seferian-Jenkins in the pros. He’s rarely had a competent quarterback, and has run the gamut in stats. Is he the 16.1 yard-per-catch player he was in 2015, or the 7.1 yard-per-catch player he was last year. He was publicly sent off from Tampa Bay after a DUI arrest and some general unhappiness with the team. The New York Jets have since picked him up, he’s reportedly gotten sober, and has had no issues since.

Seferian-Jenkins was considered a potential first-round selection way back in 2014, and Tampa Bay snatched him up early in the 2nd. He has prototypical size and speed at 6-foot-5, and 4.56 40. He struggled with drops early in his career but has cut back on those. He may just be a great complement to Hooper.