This week is bringing the second wave of Falcons free agent signings, and as expected they’re being made with an eye on affordability, special teams value, and this team’s outstanding needs. After signing linebacker Brandon Copeland last week to help out with the pass rush, provide depth at the position group, and with an eye on adding to special teams, they’ve made a similar signing with Barkevious Mingo.
The former first round pick has bounced around, but will hope to put together a strong year under Dean Pees and Marquice Williams in Atlanta. It’s a deal that clocks in just over $1 million.
Barkevious Mingo (Falcons) one year, $1.25M, $1.1M gtd, $175K signing bonus, $1.075M ($875K gtd)— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 23, 2021
Mingo is coming off a season where he played played 16 games—he’s only missed two games in his career to this point—and managed 2.5 sacks and solid coverage in limited opportunities for the Bears. After 8 seasons in the NFL he has just 12.5 sacks and hasn’t had more than 5 pressures in a single season in each of the past three years, so while he’s certainly going to be asked to rush the passer in Atlanta, we shouldn’t expect him to be a difference maker there. He’ll provide solid enough run defense and coverage if he’s called upon to play at linebacker and possibly defensive end, depending on the front, but we shouldn’t count on him being more than a deep reserve unless he finds a groove in Pees’ defense.
On special teams, Mingo is another strong addition who has been a core piece of units in Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Indianapolis, New England, and Cleveland. He’s played at least 63% of the special teams snaps per year at those stops over the past six seasons, and the fact that he’s slotted in there with so many different special teams coordinators tells you Marquice Williams should find use for him. Mingo is just the latest depth signing with significant special teams experience, joining Erik Harris, Copeland, and Lee Smith.
We’ll see how significant his role on defense will be, but this signing fits with the overall theme of the offseason and provides yet more depth for a defense and special teams unit that needs all the depth free agency can offer.