The Falcons were looking a little thin at defensive tackle, but the signing of Terrell McClain changes that in an instant.
The center of the Falcons defensive line is looking a lot better this afternoon. The team’s move to sign Terrell McClain gives the Atlanta defense a lot more depth at defensive tackle.
In fact, it may give Grady Jarrett a new partner in the starting lineup. Jarrett is a lock to start for the Falcons next season, but the position next to him is very much up for grabs. Relying on Jack Crawford to fully recover from the bicep injury that landed him on injured reserve last season is a gamble. Asking him to fully recover, move inside from defensive end and emerge as a starter at defensive tackle is borderline negligence.
Fortunately, signing McClain will give Dan Quinn and company another option, in addition to newly drafted Deadrin Senat out of South Florida. Many NFL executives were surprised when the Redskins released him earlier this month. Fortunately for McClain, the interest in his services from other NFL teams has been brisk.
The Falcons were McClain’s last visit, but he’d already been to San Francisco. Rumors of an upcoming visit to Dallas were also nixed by McClain’s decision to cast his lot with Atlanta. Terms of the contract have not surfaced as of yet, but don’t expect it to be a deal that breaks the Falcon’s Salary Cap.
This is exactly the kind of subtle free agency move that can help keep the Falcons competitive in the NFC South. If you want to stop the likes of New Orleans, Carolina and Tampa Bay you have to be able to stop the run. Atlanta was running a serious risk of being soft up the middle before adding McClain to their defensive tackle mix.
Terrell McClain won’t go down as the biggest free agency move of the summer, but it’s a smart signing for the Falcons.