The Falcons aren’t done making big moves on defense. This time, the team is adding free agent linebacker Kaden Elliss, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).
[RELATED: Falcons To Sign S Jessie Bates]
The former seventh-round pick had a breakout season in 2022. Elliss ended up starting 11 of his 17 appearances, finishing with 78 tackles, seven sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus was particularly fond of his performance, ranking him seventh among 81 qualifying linebackers.
The breakout season couldn’t have come at a better time with Elliss hitting free agency this offseason. The Saints surely won’t be happy that the pass-rusher will be heading to a division rival, but Atlanta surely had to pay up for the free agent’s services. Indeed, it’s a three-year, $21.5MM contract, including $11MM guaranteed, per Raport (on Twitter).
Elliss will be relied on to help turn around one of the league’s worst pass-rushing units in 2022. The Falcons finished last season with only 21 sacks, the second-lowest total in the NFL. He’ll be following new Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen to Atlanta; the coach served as New Orleans’ co-defensive coordinator last year after a long stint as their defensive line coach.
The Falcons have been busy spending on defense today. The front office gave safety Jessie Bates a $64MM contract and handed defensive tackle David Onyemata a $35MM deal.