Falcons to sign free agent DT David Onyemata, reunites with Ryan Nielsen

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The Falcons have remained one of the busiest teams today after acquiring Jonnu Smith and extending Chris Lindstrom, but Atlanta is just getting started. Mike Garafolo reported that the club is expected to sign David Onyemata to a deal worth close to $12 million per year.


David Onyemata made a ton of sense, given his ties to Terry Fontenot and Ryan Nielsen from New Orleans. 

He served a six-game suspension in 2021 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, but the regime in Atlanta is obviously comfortable with that. He remains one of the better interior pass rushers in the NFL, finishing with five sacks and five tackles for loss last season

His 2020 campaign was more impressive than 2022, but there’s still good football in him despite turning 30 years old. Nielsen helped draft and develop Onyemata in New Orleans as his old position coach; the pair reunites in Atlanta.

According to Ian Rapoport, the deal is worth a reported $35 million over three years with $24.5 million fully guaranteed, which is nearly $12 million per year.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire
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