It’s no secret that the Falcons need some depth on defense.
Well, their next free agent acquisitions for the 2018 offseason fill needs, and one will pop up as a familiar face to any Bulldog fans among us.
Let’s start with the man that comes from Between the Hedges.
Congratulations to #TeamDEC client @GarrisonSmith56 on signing with @AtlantaFalcons— DEC Management (@davidcanter) April 17, 2018
Falcons are signing former Seahawks DT Garrison Smith, according to agent David Canter. One-year deal worth the minimum. Smith from Atlanta and the University of Georgia. Could bring depth on the interior. Falcons still looking for playmaking DT in draft. https://t.co/loWwaCRIyQ— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) April 17, 2018
So, former Seahawks DT Garrison Smith is set to be the newest member of the Falcons’ DL.
Unless you cheer for UGA, you’re probably wondering, “wait, who is this, exactly?”
Well, Smith was a Georgia Bulldog who came into the league in 2014 as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins. That was to only be for an offseason; brief stints with the Saints and 49ers followed. He then spent 2016 and 2017 bouncing back and forth Seattle’s practice squad and active roster. Per the team, he played in eleven games, and notched 14 tackles, as a Seahawk.
In Atlanta, Smith will no doubt be competing for one of the reserve spots, and gives the team some good insurance at the position if things don’t go quite the way they hope in drafting and in recruiting UDFA DTs.
He’s not gotten much field time in the league, but a team like Atlanta is known to get the most out of guys previously thought to not have as much. Could Smith be the next player Dan Quinn and company mold into a solid rotational piece?
At the worst, it’s another guy at a position with few options at the moment. More defensive tackles will come once the draft rolls around, but Smith will have a slight edge over the newer UDFAs with his experience.
Also, this is the fifth player to secure a Falcons defensive line deal through agent David Canter and his firm, DEC Management. Derrick Shelby (twice), Paul Soliai, Jack Crawford and Cliff Matthews all had DEC manage their deals with the organization. There’s something there!
The team has also announced that two additional defensive guys will join the former UGA Bulldog to round out the day’s new additions — former Bills DT Justin Zimmer and former Colts DB Tyson Graham.
Zimmer hails from Ferris State and spent 2016’s offseason with the Buffalo Bills before getting waived. He’s most recently of the Saints’ 2017 offseason group. After being cut from New Orleans, he went up north and got some time in with the CFL’s Montreal Allouettes, where he notched three tackles and a sack.
Graham is a North Dakota alum who spent 2017’s training season with the Indianapolis Colts before being released.
Like Smith, those guys will compete to nab a spot on the team’s final 53-man roster, and at the worst, provide veteran insurance for camp.
So, welcome Smith, Zimmer and Graham to the team. And, before you just consider these guys just camp bodies, remember that WR Aldrick Robinson was a low-key April addition who went on to do some really solid things with Atlanta in a rotational role. So, April free agents can make a difference, too!