Falcons Ink Veteran Free Agent DT Terrell McClain

Free agent defensive tackle Terrell McClain has a new home, as the veteran has inked a deal with the Falcons.

The Falcons on Friday signed McClain to a contract, the team announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-2, 302-pound McClain will provide depth and experience along the interior of Atlanta’s defensive line. He joins Grady Jarrett, rookie Deadrin Senat and Garrison Smith, among other defensive tackles currently on the Falcons’ roster.

McClain previously signed a four-year, $21 million contract with the Redskins in 2017, but Washington released him on April 30 after using a first-round pick on defensive tackle Daron Payne.

McClain’s production the past season likely didn’t help his cause in Washington, as he appeared in 12 games with two starts and totaled 20 tackles (17 solo) and two sacks.

The 29-year-old McClain entered the league in 2011 out of South Florida as a third-round pick with the Carolina Panthers. In addition to spending with Washington last year, he had stints with the Patriots (2012), Texans (2012-13) and Cowboys (2014-16).

Video: NFL Network Chats about the New Mega Deal for Falcons QB Matt Ryan

The Falcons and franchise QB Matt Ryan agreed on a five-year extension on Thursday worth an estimated $150 million, and following the announcement of the deal, NFL Network spoke about it, breaking down what it could mean for other NFL QB’s – including Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

Report: Falcons QB Matt Ryan Agrees to Five-Year Extension, $100 Million Guaranteed

He’s one the best quarterbacks in the game today, and probably will go down as the greatest to ever play the game for the Falcons at that position, and today he got his due.

Matt Ryan, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, has agreed to a deal with the Falcons that would pay $100 million guaranteed, a five-year extension making $30 million a season.

Falcons Earn an ‘B’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Falcons, who according to Kiper got an ‘B’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

Atlanta lost wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Andre Roberts in free agency, and we knew the Falcons were going to address the position at some point in this draft. And after the season Calvin Ridley had at Alabama, I never thought he’d be available at No. 26. But then his testing numbers at the combine were just average, and he started to drop. Listen, you have to trust the tape with Ridley. He’s an advanced route runner who just gets open, and that’s against SEC defenses and some of the best defensive backs in the country. That’s why making him the No. 3 wideout behind Julio Jones (another Bama star) and Mohamed Sanu is a great move. Matt Ryan has to be elated with his options, and the NFC South only got tougher this offseason.

Elsewhere, defensive tackle Deadrin Senat (pick 90) could be a straight replacement for Dontari Poe, who left for the Panthers in free agency. Cornerback Isaiah Oliver (58) is a supreme athlete who also returned punts for the Buffaloes. Ito Smith (126) is insurance in case they can’t retain Tevin Coleman. Smith is only 5-9, but he’ll help in the passing game — he had 140 career receptions.

If there’s a qualm with this class, it’s that there’s no guard, and they could have used a young guy to push the starters. Still, I like Ridley, Oliver and Senat.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/26 Calvin Ridley WR ALABAMA
2/58 Isaiah Oliver CB COLORADO
3/90 Deadrin Senat DT SOUTH FLORIDA
4/126 Ito Smith RB SOUTHERN MISS
6/194 Russell Gage WR LSU
6/200 Foyesade Oluokun S YALE

Julio Jones Still Not at Falcons Offseason Workouts; Deletes Falcons Photos from His Instagram Page

Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones has yet to join the Atlanta Falcons for offseason workouts, according to multiple sources, and the deletion of Falcons photos from his Instagram page fueled speculation of unrest between Jones and the team, Vaughn McClure of ESPN reports.

Jones was not with his teammates when the Falcons officially began offseason workouts last week but was expected back this week. He wasn’t present, however, when the players returned to the field Monday.

The team said the deletion of the Falcons photos had to do with Jones wanting a “fresh start” on social media and nothing more.

One source told ESPN it was to set an example for Alabama players. Jones, a star receiver at Alabama from 2008-10, had spent the day with Crimson Tide players.

Falcons director of football communications Brian Cearns also pointed out in a tweet Tuesday morning that Jones had discussed his relationship with social media on a March 28 episode of “Bama Football Shop Talk.” In the video, Jones discussed needing to be willing to let go of social media.

“At the end of the day, when that social media is gone — you delete social media right now, what you stand for, who are you?” Jones said. “Social media ain’t going to make me.”

There have been whispers about a possible contract situation regarding Jones, but nothing has gone public from Jones’ camp or from the team.

Falcons Release Defensive Linemen Taniela Tupou

The Falcons announced Wednesday the release of defensive lineman Taniela Tupou with a non-football injury designation, Will McFadden of Atlantafalcons.com reports.

Tupou was signed to the Falcons’ active roster prior to their game against the Miami Dolphins last season to provide depth for the defensive line. That was the only game he was active for in 2017. In January, the Falcons signed Tupou to a reserve futures contract.

Tupou was initially signed by the Falcons last offseason, and he was added to the team’s practice squad in Week 3. Originally, Tupou was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as a college free agent out of Washington after the 2016 NFL Draft.

Falcons Announce 2018 Preseason Slate

The Falcons today announced their preseason slate for the upcoming 2018 season, to be played in August.

Game One – at New York Jets
Game Two – vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Game Three – at Jacksonville Jaguars
Game Four – vs. Miami Dolphins (Thurs., Aug. 30)

New York Jets: These two teams played last season, with the Falcons emerging with a 25-20 victory on a rainy afternoon in New Jersey. The Jets, who hold the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft, will likely have a different quarterback at the helm. They also signed former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during the offseason.

2018 location: MetLife Stadium
All-time series: Falcons lead, 7-5

Kansas City Chiefs: The Falcons and Chiefs last met in 2016, a memorable game that ended in a 29-28 loss for Atlanta at home. The Chiefs parted ways with quarterback Alex Smith this offseason, seemingly setting up second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes to become the new leader of an offense that has many dynamic weapons.

2018 location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
All-time series: Chiefs lead, 6-3

Jacksonville Jaguars: This will be the third year in a row that these two teams have met in the preseason. The Falcons and Jaguars have split the previous two meetings, with the Falcons earning a 17-15 victory in 2016 and the Jaguars winning 13-7 last year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Jacksonville is fresh off its first playoff appearance since 2007, and the Jaguars had one of the league’s top defenses in 2017.

2018 location: EverBank Field
All-time series: Series tied, 3-3

Miami Dolphins: The Falcons and Dolphins have played annually in the preseason since 2014, with Atlanta holding a 1-3 record in those games. Last year, the Falcons lost a close 20-17 game to the Dolphins at home in Week 6. There is plenty of familiarity between these two teams, but the Falcons will no longer have to deal with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who signed with the Los Angeles Rams over the offseason.

2018 location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
All-time series: Dolphins lead, 9-4

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff Says Team Still Focused on Getting Deal Done with QB Matt Ryan

It’s sounding more and more like the Falcons are going to get a deal done sooner rather than later with quarterback Matt Ryan.

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff tells told 680TheFan in Atlanta that getting Ryan a new deal is still the main offseason focus, Matt Tabek of Atlantafalcons.com reports.

He said “it’s not a complicated process” and that he’s “not kept up at night and it’s a priority.” Dimitroff also said, “I think we’re close.”

Expect something to get done soon for the franchise QB.

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