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Falcons sign guard James Carpenter as offensive line revamp continues

The Falcons are apparently going to use free agency to remake their guard corps.

New York Jets v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Apparently the Falcons are intent on re-making their offensive line in free agency, because we just got our second report of the team gearing up to sign a big ol’ guard to the roster.

The team confirmed the move on Tuesday after the official start of free agency.

This time, it’s James Carpenter, the 321 pound former Jet and Seahawk. The 29 year-old Augusta native has 97 NFL starters under his belt for those two teams, primarily at left guard. He started 10 games a year ago, but 48 of a possible 48 games from 2015-2017, and graded out on the low end of average for the Jets last year per Pro Football Focus. That’s generally been the verdict on Carpenter as a guard throughout his career, but he’s durable and (stop me if you’re sensing an offseason theme) a solid run blocker.

This move would seem to suggest that Jamon Brown, whose imminent signing is being reported in multiple places, would slot in as the team’s right guard. He had played there for the Giants and Rams over the last two seasons, which would leave Carpenter at left guard. That means Brandon Fusco could be out, Wes Schweitzer may be entering his last year as depth for this football team, and the Falcons may take a hard look at tackle in the draft as others have reported. The team’s Kyle Shanahan-Steve Sarkisian offensive line may soon be unrecognizable outside of Alex Mack (who is nearing the end of his career) and Jake Matthews (who is still a building block). While my initial reaction to the Brown signing was to speculate that major blocking scheme changes would be in the offing, it’s way too early to say that yet. The Falcons, at the very least, wanted some beef.

Neither Brown or Carpenter looks like the kind of elite guard we’d hoped the Falcons would sign this offseason, but hopefully they can at least be good enough to justify the investments.