Atlanta Falcons Rumors & News

Ra’Shede Hageman Gets Six-Week Ban

Ra’Shede Hageman (vertical)

The NFL has handed free agent defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman a six-week suspension as a result of a March 2016 domestic violence arrest, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Hageman faced misdemeanor charges of battery, cruelty to children, and interfering with calls for emergency assistance on the heels of his arrest, and the league began investigating him in September 2016.

Although Hageman escaped serious legal punishment, his off-field issues led the Falcons to part with him on Sept. 4. At that point, the league placed the 27-year-old on the commissioner’s exempt list as it continued its investigation.

“Really as an organization, we weren’t comfortable with where things were,” head coach Dan Quinn said after the Falcons cut Hageman (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com). “As you know, it’s an ongoing investigation through the league, so I won’t comment much further past that.”

Hageman was someone the Falcons had high hopes for before he forced them to move on from him. Atlanta used the 37th selection in the 2014 draft on the ex-Minnesota standout, and its coaching staff was reportedly enamored of him this past offseason. All told, Hageman appeared in 44 of the Falcons’ 48 regular-season games and combined for 15 starts during his three-year tenure with the club. The majority of his work came in 2015, when he tallied career highs in starts (11), defensive snaps (419) and tackles (27).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Promote Joe Vellano From P-Squad

The Falcons promoted defensive tackle Joe Vellano from their practice squad and waived cornerback Deji Olatoye to make room.

This marks the second time in 2017 the Falcons promoted Vellano to their active roster, having done so before the NFC championship game as well. Vellano played in Super Bowl LI as a backup, the fifth playoff contest for which he’s dressed.

A 28-year-old ex-UDFA out of Maryland, Vellano spent 2016 with the Falcons before being signed to Atlanta’s practice squad after this past training camp. But his most notable NFL work came with the Patriots. New England deployed Vellano as a starter in eight games during the 2013 season. Vellano also collected a Super Bowl ring in being a part-time performer with the 2014 Pats.

A Ravens UDFA in 2014, Olatoye has spent time with the Chiefs, Cowboys and Falcons but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: S Jameill Showers
  • Released: G Nate Theaker

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson Jr.
  • Released: WR Fred Brown

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Falcons Still In Contact With Dwight Freeney

The Falcons have remained in touch with free agent edge rusher Dwight Freeney, but the club has no intention to sign him at this time, head coach Dan Quinn told reporters, including D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Dwight Freeney

 “Definitely somebody that we still talk to on a regular basis,” Quinn said of Freeney. “We are hopeful that he’s going to play this year. I know that he wants to, but right not there are no changes in our plan.”

Atlanta could conceivably add another pass rusher given that 2016 sack leader Vic Beasley will be sidelined for roughly a month after suffering a hamstring injury against the Packers on Sunday night. However, the Falcons will likely turn to rookie first-rounder Takkarist McKinley to play additional snaps at defensive end instead of inking a veteran such as Freeney, per Ledbetter.

Now entering his age 37-season, Freeney still had something left in the tank in 2016, when he signed a one-year deal with the Falcons in August. While playing roughly a third of Atlanta’s defensive snaps, Freeney managed three sacks and 26.5 pressures, and also added a sack in the club’s Super Bowl appearance. He’s yet to be linked to any team since free agency opened in March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Lose Vic Beasley To Injury

Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley is expected to miss about a month with a hamstring injury, a source tells Zach Klein of WSB (on Twitter). Beasley suffered the injury during Sunday night’s 34-23 win over the Packers. Vic Beasley (vertical)

The 25-year-old led the league with 15.5 sacks in 2016, earning a Pro Bowl nod and a First Team All-Pro selection. He also played a major role in Atlanta’s nationally televised win over Green Bay, including his bone-crushing hit on Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter which led to a defensive TD.

Defensive end Courtney Upshaw was sidelined for Week 2 with an ankle injury, so the Falcons’ front seven could be particularly thin when they face the Lions on Sunday. In the meantime, the Falcons will have to lean a little more heavily on Derrick Shelby, Adrian Clayborn, and first-round pick Takkarist McKinley. Since Beasley and Upshaw are facing only short-term absences, they may not have the roster room to add an impact edge rusher.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/8/17

Today’s NFL workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Falcons, Alex Mack Rework Deal

  • The Falcons converted $1MM of center Alex Mack‘s $6.75MM base salary into a signing bonus, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The move creates $750K of cap space for the current season. The Falcons are near the bottom of the league in terms of cap space this year, so every bit of flexibility will help them.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/6/17

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Dontari Poe Can Collect $125K Wednesday

  • Dontari Poe‘s latest weight check-in, which is today, will secure the Falcons defensive tackle $125K, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Poe earned the $125K by coming in under 330 pounds in late July. The pre-regular-season weight ceiling remains the same.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/5/17

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: CB Tony McRae, C Matt Skura

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: LB Eric Lee
  • Released: S B.T. Sanders, CB Marcus Sayles

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: FB Alex Armah

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

  • Signed: LB LaTroy Lewis

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: CB Raysean Pringle

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: TE Johnny Mundt, CB Kevin Peterson
  • Released: OL Michael Dunn, DL Louis Trinca-Pasat

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: CB Kenneth Durden