Nick Kwiatkoski met with the Falcons last week and huddled up with the Raiders’ new staff this week. The former Bears and Raiders linebacker is going with his first visit.
The Falcons are signing Kwiatkoski to a one-year deal, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. This will reunite Kwiatkoski with former Bears GM Ryan Pace, who joined the Falcons’ front office this offseason. The then-Pace-run Bears used a fourth-round pick on Kwiatkoski in 2016.
Given a three-year, $21MM deal in 2020, Kwiatkoski worked as a Raiders starter that year but operated as a depth piece last season. The Raiders added multiple new pieces on their defensive second level, one that already included fellow 2020 signing Cory Littleton, and Kwiatkoski did not start any games in 2021. With the Raiders transitioning from their Jon Gruden–Mike Mayock power structure, it led Kwiatkoski back to free agency. Las Vegas’ new regime cut Kwiatkoski and Littleton this offseason, though it showed interest in reuniting with the former. Littleton signed with the Panthers.
Atlanta has addressed its off-ball linebacker spots extensively this offseason, signing ex-Titans starter Rashaan Evans and using a second-round pick on Troy Anderson. Although the team is in the early stages of a rebuild, it still rosters highly paid inside ‘backer Deion Jones. Kwiatkoski, 29 this month, stands to represent depth, at worst, for the Falcons. He made 81 tackles in 2020 and has started 34 career games.