Atlanta’s theme of the offseason thus far has been exactly what Terry Fontenot said it would be: Affordable free agent signings aimed at addressing the team’s biggest needs. Today, it appears they’re aiming to shore up their cornerback position with the addition of former Washington corner Fabian Moreau.
The addition is likely to be at or near the veteran minimum, as it has been for signings like Erik Harris and Brandon Copeland. Moreau is the youngest free agent this team has signed this offseason, and would figure to be a reserve for this defense. We’ll see if they wind up targeting another addition in the draft, given that there’s no settled starter opposite A.J. Terrell today.
The #Falcons have agreed to terms with former Washington CB Fabian Moreau on a one-year deal, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 24, 2021
Moreau, who will be 27 soon, has spent the past four years in Washington and offers decent size, quality athleticism, a track record of solid special teams play, and 18 games of starting experience at corner. I had identified him as a Washington free agent to watch given that new Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith likely played a key role in drafting him in the third round back in 2017, and the Falcons must have seen something they like in what he managed in Washington, even if the fell out of favor with a new coaching staff in 2020.
He should find plenty of run on special teams and slot in as the team’s #4 cornerback if they don’t make any other major additions. Could he start? It’s possible, as he’s young enough for there to be additional upside here, he’s had real moments in the past (6 interceptions over the past three seasons), and Sheffield and Oliver don’t have any ties to the new staff. I’m not heading into the summer expecting that outcome, but given that neither Oliver nor Sheffield have run away with a starting job to this point, it’s probably a possibility that needs to be considered.
Welcome him to Atlanta, if you would, and we’ll see who’s next. As Kevin Knight noted, this signing brings the roster to 51 players, meaning Atlanta can cram in more contracts that are cheaper than their 51st (read: veteran minimum deals) without it heavily impacting the cap for the moment. That likely means the Falcons, who have needs along both lines and at safety at minimum, will keep adding in the days ahead.