Falcons: Re-sign two, add another
The retooling has started in Atlanta, but that doesn’t mean the Falcons are going to completely clean house.
Cliff Matthews, who was set for free agency, and Patrick DiMarco were both given extensions while the team picked up former Redskins receiver Nick Williams. Matthews has served as chiefly a versatile backup on the line, featuring on 429 defensive snaps since being a seventh round pick in 2011. He spent the majority of his time at defensive end, but is more known for making a bigger contribution on special teams. He had the seventh-highest normalized grade of all kickoff return back-line special teamers (+2.0) while also scoring positively on the coverage units.
DiMarco didn’t receive quite as glowing marks for his work in special teams (he had the lowest score of anyone on the kick coverage unit) and scored a negative with his run blocking (-2.8). Still he was far from a liability and lead blocking (which he did 107 times) is far from easy with a line collapsing as the Falcons did. Both men are likely to compete for roster spots.
The same goes for Williams, a former undrafted free agent. He managed 57 snaps for the Redskins in his rookie year catching 3-of-9 balls thrown his way for just 15 yards. He didn’t make it out of camp with Washington with just six preseason catches in 2014 and it’s hard to see him cracking a Falcons receiver group that features a combination of stud receivers and core special teamers.