Falcons UDFA earns extra money for 2023 breakout campaign

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

One of the best stories of the Falcons’ 2023 campaign was undrafted free agent Nate Landman’s breakout season.

Atlanta re-signed the exclusive rights free agent earlier in the offseason in a no-brainer kind of decision, and Landman is earning even more money than initially anticipated for his outstanding 2023 season.

Among the NFL’s top 25 performance-based pay distributions, the Colorado product earned an extra $750,000+, according to Adam Schefter.

Landman joined Atlanta during the 2022 offseason after going undrafted, but he didn’t make much of an impact as a rookie, logging only one tackle and appearing in seven games, primarily as a special teams contributor.

However, in 2023, injury bred opportunity, and Nate Landman made the absolute most out of it. He was thrust into a starting role next to Kaden Elliss when Troy Andersen suffered a season-ending injury during the Falcons’ Week 3 contest against the Lions. Landman ended up starting 14 games, totaling 110 tackles, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two sacks.

The Falcons may have a good problem on their hands now. Though Landman leaves some to be desired in coverage, he’s done enough to force Jimmy Lake and Raheem Morris to give him a chance to compete with Andersen for the starting gig next to Elliss.

Terry Fontenot did spend a second-round pick on Andersen, a Montana product, so I’d assume they’d prefer him to take the reins back, but he won’t just be given the starting job.

Depending on what system the Falcons run in 2024, it could be a position battle between Andersen and Landman for the starting role next to Elliss. On the other hand, if the Falcons use a lot of three off-ball linebacker sets, all three will see significant playing time.

At worst, the Falcons have a starting-caliber backup on the roster in Nate Landman or Troy Andersen.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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