The Falcons usually don’t make moves at the trade deadline, but they are simultaneously buyers and sellers in 2022. Uncharted waters for this team, maybe, but they’ve stocked help in a seriously depleted cornerback corps by trading for Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton.
Per Tom Pelissero at NFL Network, the Falcons surrendered a conditional seventh-round pick to the Chiefs in exchange for the 25-year-old Fenton. This is likely a sign that Atlanta’s not happy with their depth chart, and/or don’t expect A.J. Terrell back soon.
Fenton had spent his entire career in Kansas City up to this point. The former 2019 sixth round pick made 16 starts in 47 games with the Chiefs, managing a pair of interceptions and 20 pass deflections over the past four seasons. He last played in Week 5 and has clearly fallen out of favor in Kansas City, which might be due to some adventures in coverage in the early going this year.
While Fenton had an up-and-down career in Kansas City, in his extended action as an eight game starter in 2021, he was solid in coverage (seven pass deflections, 68.5% completion percentage against with 322 yards, zero touchdowns) and did not whiff on a tackle all season. He’s young, can be aggressive, and is a free agent after this year, so the only thing Atlanta’s paying if he flames out here is maybe a seventh round pick. If Fenton can re-capture the form that made him at least a solid player in 2021 in Atlanta, he could likely be affordably re-signed to bolster the depth chart heading into a critical 2023 season, and he’ll be a big help in the here and now for a team down two starters at cornerback.
We’ll see what kind of role Fenton steps into with the Falcons, but give him a warm welcome regardless.