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Falcons sign Jacob Tuioti-Mariner to 1-year deal

One of the most surprising breakout players of 2020, JTM figures to be a critical reserve in the team’s defensive line rotation in 2021.

NFL: DEC 27 Falcons at Chiefs Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Falcons don’t have a ton of options along their defensive line at the moment, especially at defensive end. Fixing that is one of the major priorities of the offseason, and while signing Jacob Tuioti-Mariner doesn’t fix it, it’s the kind of move that certainly helps.

Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Falcons have a deal with the exclusive rights free agent. We’ll likely learn the terms later this week, but it should be a veteran minimum salary for his experience.

Tuioti-Mariner was one of the few pleasant surprises of the 2020 season. The former undrafted free agent had worked his way up from the team’s practice squad and wound up being one of the key pieces of the defensive line rotation, playing 35% of the snaps but boasting the fourth-highest pressure total (15) on defense in 2020, per Pro Football Reference. He’s young, he’s a capable defender against the run, and showed enough as a pass rusher for the Falcons to feel comfortable giving him significant snaps as part of the team’s 2021 defensive line rotation. Given that they have a lot of work ahead just to have a rotation, it’s still possible JTM could actually have a more significant role than he did a year ago.

Tuioti-Mariner is also a core special teamer, having played 48% of the snaps there a year ago, so he’ll likely be an important piece of those units under new special teams coordinator Marquice Williams. Given that he was likely an affordable re-signing for Atlanta, this was one of the few no-brainer moves of the offseason for this new front office.

We warmly welcome Tuioti-Mariner back to the Falcons, and hopefully he can build on the promise he showed a year ago.