Over the weekend, the Falcons made a couple of roster moves following their exhibition contest against the Dolphins.
The club signed reigning USFL Defensive Player of the Year Frank Ginda, which meant a corresponding move was coming down the pipe.
The most obvious candidate was Jones Jr., an undrafted free agent that didn’t necessarily separate himself during training camp. However, to the surprise of many, it was the incumbent veteran that was shockingly waived — Mykal Walker.
Given his experience on special teams across his first two seasons in Atlanta and as a starter last year, it was a stunning move because it leaves the position group grossly thin. If one of Andersen or Elliss goes down, the backup options aren’t exactly inspiring.
I expect another move to bring in a more proven reserve piece is on the horizon, but that’s not what this piece is about. It’s about another player with ties to the former regime ousted by Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot.
There are only a handful of players left over from the Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff era — Keith Smith, Jake Matthews, Matt Hennessy, Chris Lindstrom, Kaleb McGary, Grady Jarrett, A.J. Terrell, Jaylinn Hawkins, and Younghoe Koo,
Moreover, all have inked new deals with the Smith and Fontenot regime, except for Terrell, Hawkins, and Hennessy. The star corner’s fifth-year option was exercised and many anticipate a lucrative contract extension is looming, while Hawkins and Hennessy enter the final year of their respective rookie deals.
Both are candidates to be brought back on new contracts, serving as valuable backups, though not guaranteed.
The Falcons’ new regime is slowly configuring the roster how they see fit. There will soon be only a few holdovers from the Quinn-Dimitroff era, but that’s because they’re players any club would love to have — i.e., Terrell, Lindstrom, Jarrett, Koo, etc.