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Falcons sign WR Auden Tate

Atlanta finally adds wide receiver help, with an intriguing young option who will have a larger opportunity ahead with the Falcons.

Cincinnati Bengals v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Falcons needed to find a way to add affordable wide receiver help, because no matter how aggressively they attacked the position in the draft, there was going to be a shortage of proven options here.

Auden Tate doesn’t solve that issue all by himself, but he’s the most interesting addition yet for the Falcons, and a player who may find his way to a significant role in this passing game. Atlanta announced the signing a little while ago.

Tate is just 25 years old and has the size the Falcons are looking for at the position, standing 6’5”. He’s not a burner, but he’s a physical player with good hands who can go up and pluck the ball away from defenders, and in college he was a huge scoring threat. That hasn’t translated into the NFL—Tate has just two touchdowns thus far in his career—but Tate has had moments where he’s looked really good in his four-year career in the league. They just haven’t come all that often and haven’t happened very much of late, as he’s managed just 17 catches since a 2019 season where he reeled in 40 catches and averaged 14.4 yards per reception.

The lack of opportunity in Cincinnati is in his rear view, though, assuming he stays healthy after ending the last three seasons on injured reserve. Tate has a chance to turn in a big year in a depleted Falcons receiving corps and cash in during the 2023 offseason. Arthur Smith and company will likely give him a real chance to compete for a starting spot even after the draft, given their lack of options and Tate’s potential, and the former seventh-rounder should at least be a solid reserve even if he can’t push his way past Olamide Zaccheaus, Frank Darby and any rookies the team brings in. He’ll be one of the most interesting players to watch this summer given the size of the opportunity that might be in front of him.

Give him a warm welcome to Atlanta, and hopefully he thrives with the Falcons.