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Report: Falcons interested in linebacker Arthur Moats

The veteran has 16.5 sacks in 121 career games.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the first, frenzied wave of free agency is over, you’re seeing teams like the Patriots rouse from their slumber a bit to pursue free agents. The same may be true of the Falcons, soon enough.

Atlanta worked out Pro Bowl-caliber special teamer Justin Bethel yesterday, per the team, and today we’re hearing they have interest in former Bills and Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats. The 30-year-old would be an affordable piece of depth on Dan Quinn’s defense, which has to this point not replaced several useful reserves.

The mention of Moats as a pass rusher is an interesting one, and it may mean that the Falcons are looking at Moats as a reserve linebacker and extremely part-time defensive end. He’s not really any lighter than Vic Beasley, but Moats has spent the bulk of his career at linebacker, and would presumably find some time there chasing quarterbacks. From 2014-2016, when he drew a combined 25 starts over 48 games, Moats put up 11.5 sacks, and despite a quiet 2017, he should still be able to help this team out as a reserve.

Moats is exactly the kind of affordable depth the Falcons need to be targeting as they potentially replace the likes of LaRoy Reynolds, Kemal Ishmael, and key defenders along the line like Derrick Shelby and Ahtyba Rubin. Moats isn’t the most inspiring choice in the world, but he’s a solid enough one, and it’s still nice to hear the Falcons sniffing around options as we try to suss out the shape of this offseason.