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Falcons reportedly add four ex-XFLers

After a rash of injuries led to four players being waived or placed on injured reserve, Atlanta has brought in replacements.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Rookie Minicamp Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

After that spate of injuries that led to four players being waived or placed on injured reserve yesterday, the Falcons reportedly moved to fill those roster spots quickly. The team seems to be bringing on four former XFLers, continuing to mine that league for talent to fill out the depth chart and bring competition in for the summer.

Those four players, per NFL insider Aaron Wilson, are former Vipers, Steelers, and Chiefs wide receiver Mathew Sexton, Seahawks and Brahmas defensive lineman Matthew Gotel, Colts and Guardians defensive tackle Caeveon Patton, and Sea Dragons and Cardinals offensive lineman Michal Menet.

Sexton is a speedy, 5’11” receiver who had cups of coffee with the Steelers and Chiefs before playing in the XFL last year. His college career saw him contribute as a receiver and returner, and while he’s joining the competition a little later, Sexton should immediately be in the mix for a crowded battle for WR5/6 duties and the punt returner role. The latter is unsettled after Avery Williams’ season-ending injury. Sexton finished the 2023 XFL season with 23 grabs for 364 yards and handling 10 returns.

Gotel had 23 combined tackles in the XFL last year and offers size (listed at over 340 pounds) and intriguing athleticism and power for that size. With Eddie Goldman exiting the Falcons again, there’s genuine competition for a reserve nose tackle role, and Gotel will try to push Timothy Horne and others for the role.

Patton made the All-XFL Defensive Team last year after an impressive season that saw him put up 40 tackles in just 10 games, including five tackles for loss. An active, disruptive defender listed at 291 pounds, Patton will also hope to land a reserve role on this defensive line.

Finally, there’s Menet, who joins a crowded but deeply unsettled battle for reserve roles on the offensive line. The former Cardinals seventh round pick is an interior offensive lineman who will presumably go toe-to-toe with Ryan Neuzil, Jovaughn Gwyn, and others for what might be a single spot behind Drew Dalman, Matt Hennessy/Matthew Bergeron, and Chris Lindstrom on the interior. Menet’s signing may also be a sign that Hennessy, who hasn’t practiced in recent days, is still going to be out for a bit.

Give all four a warm welcome, and we’ll see when the team confirms the signings.