The Falcons losing Foyesade Oluokun in free agency made linebacker a position of need heading into the draft. Deion Jones is under contract, but his future remains in doubt, at least in my eyes. He’s vastly underperforming his contract, and if it weren’t for the massive dead money attached to his contract, I’d be willing to bet Terry Fontenot would’ve axed him.
Mykal Walker hasn’t really had the opportunity to prove whether he can be a starter in this league, but heading into the season with the tandem of Walker and Jones wouldn’t have been a great outlook for the defense. However, we don’t need to imagine that any longer.
On Monday, the Falcons signed Rashaan Evans to a one-year deal after he visited Atlanta last week, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former Titans’ first-round pick, linebacker Rashaan Evans, reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, per his agents @DrewJRosenhaus and @RyanMatha. Evans now will be reunited with Falcons’ HC Arthur Smith and DC Dean Pees, who coached him in Tennessee.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 4, 2022
A first-round pick by the Titans in 2018, Evans didn’t have his fifth-year option picked up by Tennessee and tested free agency for the first time in his career. The former 22nd overall pick started 50 games for the Titans over the last four years, including overlapping seasons with Dean Pees and Arthur Smith.
Evans’ best year came in 2019 when he recorded 2.5 sacks and 111 tackles. However, he quickly fell out of favor. Evans only started 11 games in 2021, recording 57 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, and two interceptions. Even though he never quite lived up to his draft status, he can still be a productive player in this league.
It seems Evans will effectively replace Foye Oluokun as the defense’s MIKE, but I’m sure Mykal Walker will have the chance to battle him for the starting role next to Deion Jones. Evans is a traditional physical linebacker and could use a change of scenery; I believe he will be a great value signing for the Falcons.
For what it’s worth, Terry Fontenot has had some decent free agent additions with such limited cap space. Casey Hayward, Cordarrelle Patterson, and now Evans are enough to win six games. The bones of the roster just aren’t there yet, but Fontenot has shown a decent aptitude for spending wisely in free agency. This should give fans confidence heading into next offseason, where the Falcons are slotted to have over $100 million in cap space.
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