The Falcons have made another depth addition to their receiver room. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has signed a deal with Atlanta, the team announced on Monday.
Arcega-Whiteside visited the Falcons recently, and it has now resulted in a contract. This deal will give the former Eagles second-rounder another opportunity to rebuild his value, after his first three seasons in the NFL resulted in underwhelming production. Arcega-Whiteside’s best season to date came as a rookie, with 169 yards and one touchdown on 10 catches.
Since then, the 26-year-old saw his playing time drop considerably in each of the past two seasons. The Eagles experimented with moving him to tight end, but his time in Philadelphia appeared to be numbered regardless of the role he occupied. In August, he was traded to the Seahawks, a move which could have allowed him to find his footing in a new offense.
However, the Stanford product was among Seattle’s final roster cuts, and spent the beginning of the campaign on their practice squad. After failing to make any appearances in the Emerald City, he was released in November. It came as little surprise that Arcega-Whiteside was left on the market deep into the offseason, with a number of other pass-catching options available for teams via the free agent and draft routes.
In Atlanta, he will join a receiving corps which is topped by 2022 first-rounder Drake London, but which has also seen a number of moves this offseason. Atlanta has added veterans Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller and Penny Hart in 2023. They will help fill the void left by the departures of Olamide Zaccheaus and Damiere Byrd. Arcega-Whiteside will look to earn a spot near the bottom of the team’s WR depth chart, with his size (6-2, 225) and blocking ability potentially giving him a path to a role on what should be one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses.
In a corresponding move, the Falcons have placed fellow receiver Jared Bernhardt on the reserve/retired list. The 25-year-old made just two appearances with Atlanta last season after dealing with injury for much of the campaign.