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Falcons sign OL Rashaad Coward to reserve/future deal

Atlanta’s adding a versatile lineman to their competition this spring and summer, and lord knows they need the help.

NFL: AUG 07 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Atlanta’s offensive line is going to need upgrades this offseason. Those can come through the draft, free agency, or significant progress from incumbent options, but there’s no way the Falcons can just sit back and trot out the exact same group as last year and hope for the best.

I’m not saying Rashaad Coward is going to prove to be one of the upgrades this team needs, but he’s a worthwhile addition on a reserve/future contract, which is what the Falcons just signed him to.

Coward’s a 27-year-old who converted from a college defensive lineman at Old Dominion to an offensive lineman in the pros. That conversion paid off for him, as he wound up starting 15 games at left guard, right guard and right tackle for the Bears between 2019 and 2020. He also appeared in four games last year with the Steelers, though he played sparingly. Pro Football Focus was down on him in both 2019 and 2020, but he had solid stretches in pass protection and has experience at three different positions along the offensive line.

That’s likely why the Falcons are taking a look at him now. If Coward can be a credible backup at multiple positions, it’ll be good news for this team’s depth, which needs to be retooled alongside at least a couple of starting spots this offseason. Hopefully he can provide just that for Atlanta, and we’ll give him a warm welcome and hope he can stick around for the Falcons.