Falcons sign veteran free agent defender

NFL: OCT 17 Cardinals at Browns

The Falcons have finally added to the defense in the form of free agent veteran cornerback Antonio Hamilton.

The cornerback room needed to be bolstered. A.J. Terrell was going to be joined by two of Mike Hughes, Dee Alford, and Clark Phillips, but the trio needed a starting-caliber corner added to the room for depth at the very least.

In today’s NFL, defenses need three starting cornerbacks, which means at least four in case of injury. With Hamilton, the Falcons get a very experienced veteran, who is capable of starting.

He is entering his ninth season in the league, most recently spending three seasons with the Cardinals, 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.

It’s not the sexiest signing, but the new Falcons coaching staff is familiar with his game. Raheem Morris spent three seasons in Los Angeles, seeing Hamilton six total times. If Atlanta’s new head coach believes him to be a quality addition, who am I to argue?

I may have preferred someone with a little bit higher of a ceiling because this team has championship aspirations, but what Hamilton certainly has that some of the other top free agent corners don’t have is durability.

The Falcons should still be searching for another edge defender. Atlanta can’t be comfortable rolling the dice with a rookie like Jared Verse, Dallas Turner, or Laiatu Latu along with Arnold Ebiketie, DeAngelo Malone, Lorenzo Carter, and Zach Harrison (in certain packages).

The goal is to win a championship. Relying on young guys is necessary, but relying on young guys at some of the most important positions (edge, cornerback) outside of quarterback is borderline reckless.

Photographer: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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