Last summer, it was assumed Germain Ifedi would push Kaleb McGary for the starting right tackle job, but McGary held on to the gig and wound up starting all 17 games. With McGary back on a multi-year deal, it was fair to wonder whether his backup would return.
Now we know: Ifedi’s coming back, signing another one-year deal. He’ll be McGary’s backup and will be in the mix if the Falcons need someone to step in at right guard, as well, as he’s played both positions in his NFL career.
Veteran OL Germain Ifedi one-year deal back to the #Falcons, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 22, 2023
Ifedi had started at least seven games in every one of his NFL seasons before joining Atlanta last year, and was a full-time starter throughout most of his first six seasons in the NFL. With the exception of his rookie season, he has always graded out as a better player in pass protection than as a run blocker, making him essentially the inverse of McGary. With his starting experience, pass protection capabilities, and history of playing multiple positions, Ifedi’s a very solid reserve, albeit one who might stymie Atlanta’s ground attack a bit if he has to be inserted into the lineup for McGary or Chris Lindstrom at any point this year.
With Ifedi’s signing, the Falcons have their reserve solution at right tackle and (perhaps) right guard, but are still presumably out shopping for a potential starter at left guard and a compelling option to back up Jake Matthews at left tackle. It’s a comfort to know that the team does have an experienced fallback option again in 2023 on the right side of the line, should they need one.
Welcome back, Germain Ifedi!