Falcons Sign Courtney Upshaw

A day after visiting with Courtney Upshaw, the Falcons signed him, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Falcons announced the move on their website.

Upshaw started for the bulk of his time with the Ravens, logging at least nine starts in each of his four seasons and lining up with Baltimore’s first-string unit for at least 13 contests from 2013-15.

The former second-round pick could be a replacement for UFA O’Brien Schofield, with the Falcons and the outside linebacker not in harmony during negotiations. Philip Wheeler is also a free agent.

Upshaw previously visited with the Jets, and had other suitors, with the Patriots and 49ers vying with the Ravens among potential suitors.

Upshaw (five career sacks) didn’t serve as a key pass-rusher for the Ravens like Terrell Suggs or Elvis Dumervil, which could be at the root of why he wasn’t snatched up earlier like former sought-after Ravens Paul Kruger and Pernell McPhee. An ex-Alabama talent, Upshaw rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 84 edge defender last season. Upshaw, however, was a top-20 performer against the run and may be well-suited to play in Dan Quinn‘s 4-3 defense that isn’t as dependent on linebackers to serve as pass-rushers.

The newest Falcon recorded 51 tackles and three fumble recoveries last season for the No. 8-ranked Ravens’ defense.

The Ravens have now lost both of their 2012 second-round selections after Kelechi Osemele bolted on Day 1 of free agency.

Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images

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