Falcons bolster defense with free agent signings over weekend

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The Falcons held rookie minicamp last week with a handful of veterans invited to try out, and the club inked a couple of the free agents to deals.

Atlanta agreed to terms with Bradlee Anae and Dane Cruikshank on Saturday morning, according to¬†ESPN. With OTAs set to start today, the Falcons’ roster sits at 88 players.

Anae, a defensive end, was selected by the Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, playing 11 games across two seasons in Dallas. The 6-3, 260-pound defender hasn’t played a snap in the regular season since 2021 but was on the Jets practice squad in 2022 then spent last season on injured reserve.

On the other hand, Cruikshank is more of a proven commodity. Across his six-year career, the 6-1, 209-pounder has appeared in 54 games, including four starts.

The 2018 fifth-round pick spent his first four seasons with the Titans before heading north to Chicago, where he saw eight games with the Bears in 2022 before being placed on injured reserve. He signed with the Jets the following offseason but was cut towards the end of training camp, finally returning back to the Titans for a couple of games.

The new Falcons linebacker has recorded 66 tackles, two passes defended, one interception and a forced fumble in his career. His best season came in 2021 as a member of the Titans, logging 43 tackles while making each of his four career starts.

Both veterans’ best chances of making the Falcons’ final 53-man roster is through special teams, but both should be considered long shots at this point as OTAs get started in Flowery Branch.

Photographer: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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