Falcons bring back veteran on a one-year deal to bolster secondary depth

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The cornerback position was a revolving door for the Falcons in 2022. Casey Hayward missed much of the year when a shoulder injury landed him on the injured reserve. Isaiah Oliver missed the beginning of the season, rehabbing from his previously torn ACL. Moreover, AJ Terrell missed a couple of games due to minor injuries.

Cornell Armstrong ended up contributing significantly, especially in the beatdown the Bengals gave the Falcons. After bouncing around the league and landing on Atlanta’s practice squad in 2021, he battled for a roster spot but was eventually released in August 2022. Armstrong returned and played a decent amount in the wake of several injuries to the secondary. He didn’t exactly play inspiring football, but he did enough to earn another contract.

He certainly won’t be competing for a starting job with the Falcons, but the club very clearly values his presence in a depth role, especially considering the team has a new defensive coordinator in Ryan Nielsen.

The Falcons still need to add a starting-caliber cornerback. AJ Terrell and Casey Hayward are a formidable duo, but the latter is coming off a season in which he missed a ton of time because of an injury. Moreover, in today’s NFL, defenses need five starters in the secondary because the nickel position has become so prevalent in subpackage personnel.

Armstrong joins Darren Hall, Dee Alford, and Jamal Peters in the cornerback room. Alford provides an option in the slot, but I imagine the Falcons would like to add a more proven commodity than Alford.

Welcome back to Atlanta, Cornell Armstrong!

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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