After several high-level seasons in Atlanta, the Falcons said goodbye to Foye Oluokun as the former Yale Bulldog signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the Jaguars. Consequently, the Falcons drafted Troy Andersen and signed a pair of veteran free agents in Nick Kwiatkoski and Rashaan Evans, the latter having extreme familiarity with the Dean Pees system.
A former first-round pick by Tennessee in 2018, Evans didn’t have his fifth-year option picked up by the Titans, resulting in the linebacker testing free agency for the first time in his career. Evans leaned on his connections in his decision-making process; the former 22nd overall pick started 50 games for the Titans over the last four years, including overlapping seasons with Dean Pees and Arthur Smith.
His best year came when Pees was defensive coordinator in 2019; Evans recorded 2.5 sacks and 111 tackles. However, Pees retired following that season, and Evans quickly fell out of favor. He only started 11 games in 2021, recording 57 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, and two interceptions.
Evans was seemingly brought in to replace Oluokun as the defense’s MIKE, and on a very team-friendly deal, this seems like a win-win situation. Evans is a traditional physical linebacker and could use a change of scenery; I believe he will be a great value signing for the Falcons. He seems to think the same as well. During a media session, Evans praised Pees and his coaching abilities, citing it as the main reason he chose to come to Atlanta.
Evans is set to have a significant role in the Falcons’ defense this season. Pees even went as far as to question why the Titans even let him go in the first place.
#Falcons DC Dean Pees told me “I don’t know why Tennessee let him go and quite frankly I don’t care, but I’m glad they did,” about Rashaan Evans.
— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) June 9, 2022
Photographer: Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire
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