The 32-year-old spent the first 6+ years of his career with the Bucs, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. During that time, he played under Dirk Koetter, the former Tampa head coach who became the Falcons’ offensive coordinator in 2019, which may be what brought Stocker to Atlanta on a two-year deal last offseason.
But the Falcons released Stocker in March, right before the team completed a trade with the Ravens for fellow TE Hayden Hurst. Hurst sits atop the team’s depth chart now that Austin Hooper has moved on to the Browns, but aside from the Hurst deal, Atlanta did not do much to add to the tight end position, so it circled back to a familiar face.
Stocker has always been more of a blocker than a receiver, and he has also spent time at fullback. He caught just eight passes for 53 yards last year, and with Hurst slated to get the targets that went Hooper’s way, it’s unlikely that he will see much of an uptick in the receiving game. But he provides experience and depth that the Falcons are lacking at tight end, so it’s a good fit for both sides.