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Falcons sign WR Penny Hart to one-year deal, cut CB John Reid

The former Seahawk and Georgia State speedster adds experience and explosiveness to the wide receiver corps.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons could use more speed in their group of wide receivers, and they added some on Wednesday with the signing of former Seahawk and Georgia State Penny Hart. The team announced they’ve signed the veteran receiver to a one-year deal.

The team worked out Hart and former Raven Slade Bolden on Tuesday and clearly liked what they saw from Hart, who offers speed in spades. Hart, who has 11 career catches for 82 yards, also played a core role on special teams and has 17 combined tackles over three NFL seasons. In his senior season at Georgia State, he worked as both a kick and punt returner for the Panthers, averaging 17.6 yards per return and scoring a touchdown on nine punt returns.

That quickness and versatility should give Hart a strong chance of making this roster, especially because the wide receiver group is unsettled after the first few options. While he’s just 5’8” and 180 pounds, Hart is pretty fearless and could very well be the team’s de facto backup slot receiver behind Scotty Miller, as well as a second option on punt returns and third option on kick returns, assuming Cordarrelle Patterson is here in 2023. He’ll compete with Frank Darby, Jared Bernhardt, and a crop of undrafted free agents for a roster spot this summer, and if the team keeps five or six players I have to imagine Hart has a leg up.

In a corresponding move, the Falcons cut John Reid. The defensive back signed with the Falcons’ practice squad shortly before the season ended and stuck around on a reserve/future deal, but has now become the first in what’s likely to be a long series of cuts at the cornerback position. The Falcons still have 11 players listed at the cornerback position. We wish Reid well at his next stop.

Give Hart a warm welcome to Atlanta!