UPDATE: The Falcons have announced a flurry of moves following today’s signings. Atlanta officially signed four players, most who were previously reported:
- LB Andre Smith
- WR Slade Bolden
- DB Natrone Brooks
- DB Clifford Chattman
We’ve also seen reports for three other signings, including:
- OL Barry Wesley
- S Lukas Denis
- DT LaCale London
To make room for these additions, Atlanta released the following players:
- LB David Anenih
- RB B.J. Baylor (waived/injured)
- CB Javelin Guidry
- DB Matt Hankins
- WR Ra’Shaun Henry
- DB Dylan Mabin
- TE/FB John Raine
It’s fair to say the Falcons liked what they saw from some of their XFL invites, including Wesley and Denis (who isn’t, we’ll note, a team-confirmed signing just yet), and that they’re going to continue to be diligent about churning the bottom of the roster when they find options they like.
Smith is set to contribute on special teams if he makes the roster, Bolden will be in the mix for a reserve receiver and special teams role, and both Brooks and Chattman will be trying to push for what is realistically a practice squad spot or two in the secondary. We’ve yet to see the announcements for Wesley, Denis, or London, but again, expect them to be in the mix for reserve roles at their respective positions.
The cuts are not shocking so much as they are surprisingly early in the year. Anenih was an intriguing pass rushing prospect who jumped aboard with the Falcons late last year, but the sheer number of additions this offseason have pushed him out of a spot. Ditto Guidry, Hankins, and Mabin, all of whom were pushing for practice squad spots at cornerback but saw the Falcons add Jeff Okudah, Clark Phillips, Mike Hughes, and Tre Flowers before adding Brooks and Chattman. Henry was simply pushed off the roster by the additions of Penny Hart and Bolden, while Raine presumably fell behind Feleipe Franks and Tucker Fisk in the team’s estimation for a final tight end spot. Baylor, unfortunately, seems to have been injured. We wish all of these guys well at their next stops.
The original article follows below.
The Falcons are re-making the bottom of the roster following rookie minicamp, with five reported signings in the past two days. We’ve yet to see it official from the team—and thus we haven’t seen the five corresponding moves to ensure the Falcons stay in compliance with the 90 man roster limit.
Today, they added two of those players in the form of XFL offensive lineman Barry Wesley and former Buccaneers and XFL safety Lukas Denis.
#Falcons signing offensive tackle Barry Wesley @XFLSeaDragons per a league source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 15, 2023
We’ll start with Wesley, who stands 6’7” and is fresh off five games as a starter for the Seattle SeaDragons. As you’d expect from a player the Falcons are interesting in, Wesley is a good athlete and boasts some versatility, having cross-trained in college at four of five positions along the offensive line. In Atlanta, he’ll join what’s expected to be a fierce battle for five or four reserve roles, and his versatility can only help him land one.
Former Boston College safety Lukas Denis, who recently starred in the XFL, has signed with the #Falcons, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 15, 2023
Denis had a stint with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent before excelling for the St. Louis Battlehawks in the XFL, showing the kind of ballhawking skill this defense could always use more of. The team’s depth chart at safety is far from settled after Richie Grant, Jessie Bates, and Jaylinn Hawkins, and Denis will be in the mix for a spot if he hangs on this summer.
Give both warm welcomes to Atlanta and we’ll what moves are coming next.