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Falcons to host free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee today

It’s all happening.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking for a sign that the Falcons are close to a deal with Matt Ryan, the three visits they’ve apparently lined up this week would seem to be the clearest one yet. The latest is also the most intriguing.

The Falcons will reportedly host Pernell McPhee, formerly of the Bears and Ravens, on this very day. McPhee would almost certainly line up primarily as a defensive end in Atlanta’s scheme, giving the team a pretty potent four man rotation at the position.

McPhee, 29, was a player I was very interested in when he became a 26-year-old free agent after the 2014 season. He’s not an elite pass rusher by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a fine player with at least four sacks in each of the last four seasons, and capable enough against the run to avoid being a one-dimensional option for Atlanta. With Takkarist McKinley, Vic Beasley, and Brooks Reed already in-house, McPhee would step into 20 or so snaps per game and would be a strong bet to fare well in them.

As an additional perk, McPhee has experience at linebacker (though he’s a bit hefty for that role in Atlanta’s scheme) and defensive tackle, meaning he could be moved around a bit as Atlanta saw fit. This would be a terrific signing if Atlanta can swing it, so hopefully we’ll be looking at McPhee in a Falcons jersey for the upcoming season.