Falcons waive fullback in favor of veteran

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On the same day that the Falcons acquired Jonnu Smith via trade and extended Chris Lindstrom, they inked a free agent deal with Keith Smith.

Arthur Smith brought back ’90s football last year with Parker Hesse and Keith Smith leading the way as the team’s H-back and fullback. Smith is entering his 10th year in the league and 5th with the Falcons.

His role as a blocking specialist isn’t his only value, though. Smith provides a ton on special teams, an often thankless role in today’s NFL. His presence made it hard to see Clint Ratkovich earning a roster spot, but some assumed he could stick around on the practice squad.

On Tuesday, Tom Pelissero reported the club is waiving the fullback, who was one of PFF’s highest graded players at the position this preseason.

This isn’t surprising at all. Even though Ratkovich impressed this offseason, Smith is familiar with the Falcons and the offense. Typically, that wins out every day of the week, especially when the salaries aren’t dramatically different. Ratkovich should be able to catch on elsewhere.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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