The Falcons have made no secret of their desire to add talent to a depleted receiver group, and they’ve made no secret that they’re going to be looking at former Bears after adding ex-Chicago general manager Ryan Pace to their front office. Those worlds collided Tuesday, as the Falcons hosted free agent Damiere Byrd for a visit.
If he signs, Byrd will have the most established track record of any wide receiver on the Falcons roster.
The Falcons hosted WR Damiere Byrd on a free agent visit. He recently visited the Raiders as well. The speedy wideout spent last year with the Bears.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 29, 2022
The 29-year-old is fresh off a season where he caught 26 catches for 329 yards and a touchdown as a reserve in Chicago. Before that, he piled up 47 catches for 609 yards and a touchdown with the Patriots and 32 catches for 359 yards and a touchdown with the Cardinals in 2020 and 2019, respectively. After barely seeing the field as a receiver for the Panthers during the first three years of his career, he’s become a reliable reserve who offers blazing speed and good hands.
Obviously, Pace has a role in getting Byrd in for a workout, and Atlanta’s offseason has featured plenty of former Bears either signing or coming in for workouts, with Damien Williams, Elijah Wilkinson and Teez Tabor among them. Byrd offers more experience than anyone else the team is currently planning to trot out, though, so this is not just a “hey we love former Bears” sort of interest. He would be a nice third or fourth receiver in 2022 for this football team.
We’ll see if the Falcons do end up offering him a contract, but even with reports that they’re going to go hard after receivers in the NFL Draft, it’s clear this team (rightly) does not think they can count on the current group and a rookie or two to be everything they need. Adding speed and adding competition remains a must, and whether it’s Byrd or someone else, we’ll see another veteran signing between now and the draft.