Update: The Falcons officially signed Kwiatkoski on Monday, per Tom Pelissero.
The Atlanta Falcons have continued keeping their eyes on the free agency market, following the NFL Draft, even more so now that they’ve created an extra $10.9 million in cap space with the Grady Jarrett extension.
Atlanta completed a visit with veteran linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski on Thursday. The Birds were the first of three teams with whom the former fourth round draft selection had a scheduled visit, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, who also adds that Kwiatkowski’s signing is imminent for one of those teams.
Veteran LB Nick Kwiatkoski visited the #Falcons today, per source. He has two other visits lined up and should sign somewhere soon.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 5, 2022
As has been the case with many of Atlanta’s free agent signings this offseason, there is a direct connection with former Chicago Bears General Manager and current Falcons Senior Personnel Executive Ryan Pace. Namely, that Pace was the General Manager who not only drafted Kwiatkoski back in the 2016 NFL Draft, but who also traded up to get the former West Virginia University standout.
Kwiatkoski has enjoyed a really solid NFL career thus far. He was particularly excellent in 2017, when he registered an 80.5 PFF Grade and excelled in nearly every aspect of the linebacker position.
He showed enough in Chicago to earn a three year/$21 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2020 offseason. He finished out his Raiders career on injured reserve and was released in March of this offseason.
Kwiatkoski is one of the best linebackers available in free agency, and would be another piece in helping the team in replacing the since departed Foye Oluokun. Obviously, the addition of Kwiatkoski on top of the free agent signing of Rashaan Evans and drafting linebacker Troy Andersen would continue to fuel Deion Jones trade rumors, which have been buzzing since late last season. We’ll see if Kwiatkoski signs soon enough.