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Falcons sign veteran CB Mike Hughes

After a visit earlier in the week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapport reports that veteran cornerback Mike Hughes will sign with the Falcons. The former first-round pick spent last season with the Lions after stints with the Chiefs and Vikings.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have been busy since the start of NFL free agency, making over a dozen moves in the span of a week. Things had started to slow down heading into the weekend, but Terry Fontenot is right back at it. After signing veteran wide receiver Mack Hollins on Sunday, the Falcons are making another deal—this time on the defensive side of the ball.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapport reports that the Falcons are expected to sign veteran cornerback Mike Hughes. The team was reported to have visited with Hughes late last week, which means it must have gone pretty well. Hughes was originally a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, but had stints with the Kansas City Chiefs (2021) and, most recently, the Detroit Lions (2022). He’s also a UCF legend #ChargeOn.

The versatile cornerback has plenty of experience playing both outside and in the slot, and is a seasoned special teams contributor as well. He had a bit of a down year in Detroit (59.9 overall PFF grade), with a low mark in coverage but very good grades in run support and as a blitzer. Before that, Hughes was coming off his best season with the Chiefs: 79.6 overall PFF grade, with high marks in both run defense and coverage.

Mike Hughes figures to compete right away for a starting role in the secondary. Atlanta still has ascending young star A.J. Terrell and veteran Casey Hayward in the building, along with some interesting pieces like former fourth-rounder Darren Hall and intriguing UDFAs Dee Alford and Cornell Armstrong. There’s also been buzz around the Falcons drafting a cornerback high in the 2023 NFL Draft. It was reported that Hughes signed a two-year deal with Atlanta, so he’s not just a one-year rental and could be part of the team’s longer term plans. UPDATE: Here are the details of Hughes’ two-year contract:

No matter what happens, Hughes figures to be a favorite for a roster spot as a versatile veteran option who also has a great deal of special teams experience. He’s also just 26 years old, so he’s still got some developmental potential.

What do you think about the signing of Mike Hughes? Join us in welcoming him to Atlanta.