Eddie Goldman looks to be attempting a comeback. The longtime Bears nose tackle landed on the Falcons’ reserve/retired list shortly after signing with Atlanta last year, but he is now back on the team’s active roster.
The Falcons reinstated Goldman from the retired list Tuesday, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. Goldman signed a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with the Falcons last summer. But he had played three seasons on a lucrative Bears extension and exercised his right to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020.
It cannot be assumed Goldman, 29, will be part of the Falcons’ 53-man roster next season. But he is back on Atlanta’s 90-man offseason roster. The former second-round pick operated as the Bears’ starting nose tackle throughout Vic Fangio‘s time with the team and continued to do so following the acclaimed DC’s exit. Former Bears GM Ryan Pace, who made Goldman his second draft choice upon taking that job back in 2015, also remains in the Falcons’ front office.
Goldman started for a No. 1-ranked Bears defense in 2018. That unit, which featured accomplished veterans at most spots, helped snap an eight-season Bears playoff drought. More pivotal to Goldman’s path, the Bears took care of him shortly before that season commenced. Goldman signed a four-year, $42MM extension during the 2018 offseason. That deal came with $25MM guaranteed. Will he end up playing on the bottom-end deal the Falcons authorized last year?
Atlanta is transitioning to Ryan Nielsen‘s defense. The six-year Saints staffer has added ex-charge David Onyemata to his defensive tackle group. With Onyemata joining Grady Jarrett, there would not appear a path — barring injury — to Goldman starting inside. Nielsen has not committed fully to installing a 4-3 defense in Atlanta; Goldman played exclusively in 3-4 schemes in Chicago. But the team is inexperienced up front beyond these two veterans. Goldman has made 73 career starts.