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Falcons Re-Sign Defensive Tackle Ra’Shede Hageman

The Falcons have announced they have re-signed defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. The 28-year-old defensive lineman was a second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Sources told ESPN and the Houston Chronicle that Hageman faces a two-game suspension at the start of the 2019 season. He was arrested in June for driving while impaired.

Hageman appeared in 16 games in each of his first two seasons with the franchise, before 12 appearances during his 2016 campaign. The 6-foot-6, 318-pound defender has 16 career starts. Hageman logged 61 tackles and four sacks in 44 appearances with the Falcons before he was cut before the 2017 season.

He was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, following a domestic violence charge. His last appearance with the Falcons came in Super Bowl LI.

“As an organization we believe in opportunities when people take responsibility for their actions and are committed to change,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a news release.

“We believe Ra’Shede understands that his conduct was wrong and has learned from his mistakes. He has met the obligations of the court in his prior matters and worked hard over the last two years including community service, intensive course work and rehab. That said, we understand the seriousness of his actions, and he knows we will not tolerate abusive behavior in any form.”

Check out the Complete 2019 Atlanta Falcons Schedule

The 2019 NFL Schedule is out – and Falcons fans you can start to look at what trips you want to take and days off as well!

Here it is – the complete 2019 Falcons slate!

Sept. 8 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00
Sept. 15 Philadelphia Eagles 8:20
Sept. 22 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00
Sept. 29 Tennessee Titans 1:00
Oct. 6 at Houston Texans 1:00
Oct. 13 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05
Oct. 20 Los Angeles Rams 1:00
Oct. 27 Seattle Seahawks 1:00
Bye
Nov. 10 at New Orleans Saints 1:00
Nov. 17 at Carolina Panthers 1:00
Nov. 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00
Nov. 28 New Orleans Saints (Thanksgiving) 8:20
Dec. 8 Carolina Panthers 1:00
Dec. 15 at San Francisco 49ers 4:25
Dec. 22 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00
Dec. 29 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00

Falcons Ink Defensive Back Chris Cooper to Two-Year Deal

The Falcons have signed defensive back Chris Cooper to a two-year contract according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.

Undrafted out of Stony Brook, the 25-year-old went to training camp with the Colts last summer but was later waived with an injury settlement after suffering a concussion. He also spent time on the Chiefs’ practice squad. Cooper’s primary position is safety but he can play nickel corner in a pinch.

Falcons to Visit with Former Saints DL Tyeler Davison

Former Saints defensive lineman Tyeler Davison could join an NFC South rival in the upcoming season.

Sources told the NFL Network that the Falcons are bringing in Davison for a visit.

It’s the first reported visit for Davison since the Saints let him enter free agency this off-season. New Orleans added former New England Patriots first-round pick Malcom Brown to replace Davison.

Davison spent the last four seasons with the Saints and was a key member of the team’s defensive line rotation. The 6-foot-2, 309-pound defensive tackle appeared in 61 games (48 starts) in the past four campaigns.

The Saints originally drafted Davison in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Fresno State. He has recorded 95 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and four passes defensed in his four seasons. He spent most of the past three seasons as a starter alongside Sheldon Rankins.

The Falcons have a need on the defensive line. Atlanta interior lineman Grady Jarrett, who was franchise tagged this off-season, is working toward a long-term agreement with the club.

Jack Crawford and Deadrin Senat are other members of the Falcons’ current defensive tackle rotation, while Terrell McClain remains a free agent.

With Quinn Calling Plays on Defense, Can the Falcons D Turn the Corner in 2019?

Since the moment they blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl history, the Atlanta Falcons have been doing whatever they can to make sure their defense is better and in a position to win games.

To this point, it just hasn’t happened.

You can check the best sportsbooks and see that the Falcons swiss cheese like defense was a big part of the reason they missed the postseason in 2018, and head coach Dan Quinn is certain that it’s going to change in 2019.

The team had a mountain of injuries on defense last season, with middle linebacker Deion Jones, strong safety Keanu Neal, and free safety Ricardo Allen among the starting players on defense that were lost for the year.

Because of the injuries the team was inconsistent, and they were unable to stop a lot of teams around the league, including the likes of the NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints, who they will have to figure out how to stop again in 2019.

The team has already dumped defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, and Quinn announced he would assume the position himself going forward, a dangerous trend for a team that needs a new voice on defense.

“We’re looking for real consistency,” Quinn said of what he wants to see on defense next season and beyond with the talent they already have on the roster.

“There [were] definitely times during the 2017 season we improved as a defense. Then I thought [it felt like] when you take two steps forward one step back. I wanted to make sure if I could have an impact and an influence on the defense and really play to a style that was true to how I would like it to look I should be the one making the calls.”

Quinn calling plays, rightfully so, has a lot of Falcons fans nervous, but he was successful doing it in Seattle, where he helped lead the Seahawks to a win in Super Bowl 49 over the Denver Broncos, punishing the league’s best offense in Met Life Stadium.

With free agency fast approaching, it will be interesting to see the moves that the Falcons make, and if Quinn decides to be the voice behind the defense as he’s said he will be in 2019, or if when things get tough he gives it to someone else.

Falcons and DT Grady Jarrett Nowhere Close to Reaching a New Deal

The Falcons are not close to reaching a new contract deal with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

However, the Falcons remain optimistic a deal can get done.

“We’re working diligently on Grady Jarrett,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “That is our focus and will continue to be our focus right now. I’m confident that is going to get done.

“We feel very confident about that.”

In order to retain Jarrett’s rights and block him from becoming an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts March 13, the Falcons will have to place the franchise tag on Jarrett. They have a Tuesday deadline.

The franchise tag price for defensive tackles is set at $15,209 million. That would gobble up most of the Falcons’ $22.3 million under the cap heading into the free agency.

The salary cap for the 2019 season was set at $188.2 million.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team will consider using the franchise tag on Jarrett if the two sides cannot reach a new deal.

“I would say it’s definitely on the table to discuss really thoroughly, but we’ll have to wait until to then to see if a deal can be done first,” Quinn said on Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine.

The franchise tag for defensive tackles was $13,615 million last season.

Falcons Cut Longtime Kicker Matt Bryant

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who has been with the team for 10 seasons, announced he would be cut on Wednesday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“I was informed last night that the team was moving on from my services and that I would be released,” Bryant wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “I want to say thank you to all (of) the fans that have stood with me and my family during our time here.”

Bryant, who will turn 44 in May, said he doesn’t plan to retire.

The Falcons can get cheaper at the position by keeping Giorgio Tavecchio, the injury replacement for Bryant last season who had field goals of 50 and 56 yards in the team’s 23-20 victory over the Giants.

The move creates $2.8 million in cap space for the Falcons.

Falcons Reportedly Set to Release Cornerback Robert Alford

The Falcons appear to be in the thinking of re-tooling their defense in 2019, and it will start with a bit of a surprise, as the team is going to release cornerback Robert Alford.

Alford started 88 games and had 10 interceptions after being a second-round draft choice back in 2013. The team will get hit with a $1.2 million cap hit upon his release, and he was to make $8.5 million in 2019.

He is most famous for picking off Tom Brady of the Pats and returning the interception for a score during the first half of Super Bowl LI two years ago.

Jalen Collins will likely get a bigger shot in the secondary as the team has been trying more to work in the former second round pick.

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