The Falcons made the reported Emmanuel Ellerbee signing official just a short time ago, but they also announced another pair of moves we weren’t expecting. The team cut ties with running back Tony Brooks-James and added offensive lineman Jason Spriggs to the roster alongside Ellerbee, bringing two new players to the roster just in time for the start of training camp.
Spriggs is an interesting addition. A second round selection by the Packers back in 2016, he hasn’t come to living up to that draft slot in stints with Green Bay and Chicago, appearing in 44 games over four seasons and starting just 9 of those. He somewhat settled in to a swing tackle role in Green Bay in 2018 and in Chicago in 2020, but has had unfortunate injury luck throughout his career and has yet to appear in a full 16 game season. At 27 Spriggs is both still fairly young and is definitely athletic enough to snag a role on this unsettled Falcons line if he has a good summer in Atlanta. With Matt Gono possibly on the shelf—we still don’t know his status just yet—Spriggs could very well come in and push his way into the swing tackle role here, especially if Jalen Mayfield does seize the left guard job as I anticipate he will.
As anticipated, Ellerbee was announced as an outside linebacker, meaning he’ll be competing for a reserve role there. He’ll have an uphill battle to make the team, but with the depth largely wide open on this roster, he at least has a shot with an impressive training camp.
Brooks-James, meanwhile, will look for a special teams and reserve role elsewhere. He’s had two stints with the Falcons and stuck around through the regime change, but with clear favorites for both returner spots (Cordarelle Patterson and rookie Avery Williams) and a running back depth chart that seems four players deep, he had a tough road to a roster spot. We’ll wish him well wherever he lands.
With training camp starting soon, we’ll see if Spriggs and Ellerbee can carve out roles and stick around a while. I’m going to say Spriggs has a decent chance of making the 53 man roster if Gono’s not going to be good to go to start the season.