The Atlanta Falcons were said to be interested in both Robert Ayers and Pernell McPhee earlier this week, and both figured to add depth and real talent to a defensive end grouping thinned by attrition. Then the Falcons went and re-signed Derrick Shelby, raising questions about both their salary cap management (more on that this weekend) and desire to sign other ends.
D. Orlando Ledbetter at the AJC makes it clear that the Falcons are, in fact, out on Robert Ayers for the moment. Ayers had intended to talk to multiple teams, including the Falcons, and it appears Atlanta won’t have interest for the moment. They are still in on both McPhee and special teamer/cornerback Justin Bethel, however, per Ledbetter.
Adding Bethel would give special teams a boost, for sure, but McPhee is the truly intriguing signing here. Injuries have limited him in recent years, but he’s a quality pass rusher with experience at defensive end, defensive tackle, and linebacker, and a Vic Beasley/Takk McKinley/Brooks Reed/Derrick Shelby/McPhee end rotation sure looks formidable on paper.
So let’s hope the Falcons can get that done, leaving them with only a small handful of holes before next month’s draft.