The Atlanta Falcons re-signed two impending free agent defensive tackles in Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters, with Peters earning just $1 million on a one-year, prove-it deal coming off of a torn Achilles’ injury and dependable run-stopper Babineaux signing a three-year pact today. Even though the Falcons seemed locked in at the position with those two deals, they were still showing interest in defensive tackles.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that not only have the Falcons signed starting guard Jon Asamoah after all, but the Falcons have also signed defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who has been a solid starting DT for the Miami Dolphins for several years. The Dolphins are also fully expected to lose Randy Starks to another team this offseason, so they’ll have to find a starting DT duo after losing both talented, veteran starters.
It’s interesting to see Soliai on the Falcons, because he is a similar player to Babineaux, in that they are both primarily run-stuffers. The Falcons biggest need on defense is helping out the pass defense by adding better pass rushers and DBs, and I thought they would try to sign a pass-rushing DT or save money for a dynamic pass-rushing DE and cut ties with Osi Umenyiora. Instead, Thomas Dimitroff targeted a run-stuffing DT and decided on Soliai. Hopefully the financial terms of the deal make sense, because that could justify signing a player as good as Soliai despite the lack of need.
The Falcons have also announced the signing of another former Chiefs player in Tyson Jackson, who had interest from the Dolphins and Falcons during the legal tampering period. He’s a very good run defender and is coming off of an excellent 2013 season, and the fact that they are loading up on big DLs shows that they are eyeing a move to a 3-4 defense.
The Falcons also re-signed center Joe Hawley today on a two-year deal, as expected, and they were always expected to sign a guard. Asamoah was heavily linked to the Falcons, so it isn’t surprising to see that the Kansas City Chiefs starter is in Atlanta. The Chiefs are faced with losing Branden Albert, Asamoah, and Geoff Schwartz (still on market but expected to sign elsewhere), so that’s worth watching for. The Falcons needed a starting guard badly, and Asamoah is a talented player who is at his best in pass pro and is a very nice upgrade for this team.