The Atlanta Falcons have been very conservative in free agency, bringing back only their own players along with guard Brandon Fusco. They have lost two starters along the defensive line, cut another, and got rid of their backup tight end.
Basically, they are short on bodies. Luckily the Falcons are still on the lookout for a cheap addition. Enter former Arizona Cardinals special teamer and corner Justin Bethel.
Bethel has great size for a corner at 6-foot and 200-pounds, and could provide the team with some much better depth than anyone after Brian Poole. He has made three Pro Bowls, and was named as an All Pro twice. However, it is for his special teams play. Bethel was demoted last season, and with a new coaching staff in place for the Cardinals, he was cut. He has only started 14 games on defense in his five seasons, but has four picks and touchdowns to go with it.
Where does he fit with the Falcons? Atlanta had a pretty weak special teams performance last season, so Bethel should improve coverage and tackling immediately. The expectation is that Damontae Kazee will play more often in the slot, but he might see some competition with Bethel, if signed. He is unlikely to take too many snaps from Poole.
His likely salary is harder to figure out. Bethel signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Cardinals, but was cut to save paying his $5 million base salary. Based on his performance and interest so far this offseason (none), he may be stuck averaging only a few million per year.