Falcons old friend joins Patriots in free agency

cco21121978 atl at sf

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Patriots are signing former Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins.

The former fourth-round pick landed in Atlanta in the 2020 NFL Draft but was cut after just six games and claimed by the Chargers, playing 10 games for Los Angeles.

Coming into the 2023 campaign, the 26-year-old was expected to be the primary backup behind Richie Grant and Jessie Bates, probably getting on the field in big nickel packages, but he never seemed to find his way onto the field. Most of his snaps with the Falcons last year came in Week 3 when he logged 11.

It was surprising that the Falcons moved on from a player who had plenty of experience starting, especially when there was not a lot of depth at the position, but the team’s defensive staff was confident in 2023 seventh-round selection DeMarcco Hellams, and it worked out. Eventually, Hellams supplanted Grant as the starter.

Now, Jaylinn Hawkins lands in New England with new head coach Jerod Mayo, who will enter the 2024 season with very little expectations for the Patriots.

Photographer: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire

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