The Falcons hosted Damiere Byrd on a visit earlier this week, becoming the second team to do so since free agency started. Byrd agreed to a deal to join them Friday.
Byrd will head to his fourth team in four years, committing to the Falcons on a one-year deal, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The former UDFA visited both the Falcons and Raiders recently but will partner with a team in transition at wide receiver.
After trading Julio Jones last summer, the Falcons saw Calvin Ridley step away from football near the midseason point. Ridley has since been handed a one-year gambling suspension, and the Buccaneers signed Russell Gage earlier this month. This all left Atlanta extremely shorthanded at wide receiver. While the team figures to target wideouts early in the draft, Byrd will be a candidate to contribute for the franchise’s first post-Matt Ryan squad.
Byrd, 29, played with the Bears last season, the Patriots in 2020 and the Cardinals in 2019. Prior to that, he spent three seasons with the Panthers. While Byrd played an auxiliary role with the Bears, catching 26 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown, the speedster factored in more prominently with the Cam Newton-quarterbacked Patriots team two years ago. The 5-foot-9 target posted career-high marks in receptions (47) and yards (604) for that Pats edition. Byrd broke out post-Carolina, having combined for barely 100 yards in three Panthers seasons.
This marks the Falcons’ third notable receiver deal this offseason. They have added ex-Bengal Auden Tate and former Browns backup KhaDarel Hodge to a receiver group that still features ex-UDFA Olamide Zaccheaus.