In all the noise, the Falcons sat on their hands quietly and waited over 24 hours before making their first move of the tampering period. They began by bulking up their interior line in the forms of Jamon Brown and James Carpenter – two monstrous offensive guards – as the Falcons look to address what was their most glaring weakness in 2018.
Brown has spent four years in the league, beginning his career with the now Los Angeles Rams, including the 2017 season where he started in all 16 games. He was waived by the Rams last year, picked up by the Giants and became a full-time starter again. That just happened to be right around the time Saquon Barkley began to take over the league on the ground, rushing for over 100 yards in five out of the eight contests Brown started in.
At 6’4″, 340 pounds, Brown is quite a bit larger than the Andy Levitres, Wes Schweitzers and Ben Garlands of the world, which points to a possible change in philosophy with Dirk Koetter back in town. Dan Quinn and Koetter have expressed their desire to get back to pounding the rock, something the Falcons were effective at in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme but fell off in each year under Steve Sarkisian.
Brown did play offensive tackle in college, so there is the possibility he transitions back to his original position if the Falcons part ways with Ryan Schraeder. Although, with his well-documented ability to run-block and the Falcons’ inability to find consistency on the interior of their line outside of Alex Mack, seeing Brown compete for the starting role at guard makes the most sense.
One of the players he will be competing with signed just a few moments after him, James Carpenter. Carpenter is another handful in the middle weighing in at over 320 pounds and standing at 6’5″. The Augusta, Georgia native attended Alabama and was drafted with the 25th overall pick in the 2011 draft – where he met Dan Quinn. He spent four seasons there, starting in 39 games before signing a four-year deal with the Jets.
Carpenter has never lived up to that first-round billing but became a nasty and reliable option while he was in New York – two words that will get Dan Quinn’s blood pumping heading into 2019. Carpenter did not miss a game in his first three seasons with the Jets and started in all 48. He missed the final six games of last year with a shoulder injury.
These additions likely signal the end for former guards Andy Levitre and Zane Beadles – both of whom are set to become free agents. It also puts added pressure on the likes of Ryan Schraeder and Brandon Fusco – two players who are not guaranteed to be on the roster next season. Although, if the signing of Carpenter and Brown are a sign of a scheme change, more moves could be on the horizon in the coming days.
The deals will become official when the new league year begins tomorrow at 4:00 ET. The contracts of Brown and Carpenter have not yet been released. We will inform you when they become available.