Falcons continue flurry of free agent signings with pass rusher


Over the weekend, the Falcons hosted veteran free agent defensive end James Smith-Williams, and the two sides agreed to a one-year deal, according to his agent Mike McCartney.

This signing follows a pair of other free agent signings that fill out the defensive depth chart.

About a week ago, the Falcons reunited with Eddie Goldman, who returns for a third offseason. The nose tackle came over in 2022 then retired, came back in 2023 and retired again. The third time is the charm, right?

Veteran cornerback Antonio Hamilton inked a deal with Atlanta last week. The former Cardinal is entering his ninth season in the league, starting nine games last year. Hamilton logged 40 total tackles, 11 passes defended and an interception in those nine starts while appearing in 14 games.

And today, they brought in Kevin King. The former Packers second-round pick had his best season in 2019 when he put up five interceptions to go along with 15 pass breakups. King has connections to multiple Falcons coaches, and similar to Hamilton, provides depth in the cornerback room.

James Smith-Williams is a similar signing as well. He’ll be a rotational piece and nothing more as I see it. His best season came in 2022, and he only put up three sacks but did have 16 quarterback hits in 60% of the Commanders’ defensive snaps that year.

The Falcons are clearly doing what they always do — signing cheap veterans to fill positions of need so that they can take the best player available in the draft. Still, for a team with the anticipation of competing in the postseason, Atlanta isn’t doing enough on the defensive side of the ball.

A starting-caliber corner and a proven pass rusher were the goals, and we got a 31-year-old journeyman, a guy who hasn’t played in two years, and another who’s never put up more than five sacks.

It’s not good enough.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

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