Ryan Neuzil

Falcons Extend C Ryan Neuzil

The Falcons were able to avoid tendering exclusive rights free agent Ryan Neuzil today, signing the backup center to a one-year extension, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. The third-year lineman will remain in Atlanta for the 2024 season.

Neuzil signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State in 2021. After spending his rookie year on the practice squad, Neuzil made his NFL debut in Week 9 of his sophomore season, getting called up as a practice squad elevation. He would appear in every game for the rest of the 2022 season, appearing only on special teams, except for five offensive snaps in the team’s regular season finale.

At the opening of this most recent season, injuries to starting guard and primary backup center Matt Hennessy opened the door for Neuzil to climb the depth chart as the new top option to back up starter Drew Dalman. Neuzil entered the year playing the same special teams role in which he ended 2022. He earned his first career start in Week 6, though only as a technicality as he was an extra lineman on the first play of the game and only played five offensive snaps.

Later in the season, though, Dalman would be forced to miss three games late in the season. Neuzil finally got the opportunity to start a full game at center and even earned snaps on the line during games in which he didn’t start. Ending the season with four starts under his belt left a strong impression for Neuzil heading into the offseason as an exclusive rights free agent.

After establishing himself as a dependable backup on the interior of the offensive line, Neuzil earned this new deal. He’ll likely come into the 2024 season as the primary backup for Dalman and a depth piece on the interior of the offensive line.

Falcons Place IOL Matt Hennessy On IR

Not having practiced since late July, third-year interior offensive lineman Matt Hennessy will head to injured reserve in Atlanta, according to Falcons digital managing editor Scott Bair. Hennessy has been dealing with an unspecified injury since then, one that will apparently require a stay on IR.

This continues what has been an up-and-down start to Hennessy’s NFL career thus far. After getting drafted in the third round out of Temple in 2020, Hennessy was used sparingly as a rookie, appearing in 13 games but only starting the final two of the season at center. With Alex Mack in San Francisco the following year, Hennessy took over as a full-time starter for the Falcons in 2021. Overall, Hennessy put forth a strong performance, boosted by elite run-blocking while struggling in pass protection.

Last year, the team decided to employ 2021 fourth-round pick Drew Dalman at the starting center spot after a training camp position battle, playing Hennessy only on special teams. A Week 9 injury placed starting left guard Elijah Wilkinson on IR, allowing Hennessy back into the starting lineup. A knee injury would force Hennessy onto IR for the next six weeks before he would eventually come back to start the final two games of the season.

Head coach Arthur Smith has said that Hennessy’s issue is related to something he was dealing with last year, so it’s possible that late-season knee injury is continuing to trouble him. In his absence, second-round rookie Matthew Bergeron has been consistently handling first-team duties for the Falcons. Hennessy entered camp as the team’s starting left guard but with the expectation that he would need to hold off Bergeron for the role.

The injury has not only opened the door to opportunity for Bergeron, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, second-year backup center Ryan Neuzil has benefitted, as well. While playing at left guard since losing the starting center job, Hennessy was still the top option to replace Dalman at center, should he succumb to injury. Hennessy’s chronic absence due to his own injury, though, has allowed Neuzil to work his way up the depth chart, making him the preferred option over Hennessy in certain injury situations.

It’s fortunate that the Falcons have such strong options to deal with Hennessy’s absence as it looks like he will be out for some time. According to another report from Ledbetter, Hennessy is expected to undergo surgery for his injury that will require a recovery period of 6-7 months, likely sidelining him for the entire 2023 season. If Hennessy is out for the year, that opens the door for Bergeron to start at left guard and Neuzil to solidify his role as the team’s top backup center.

In addition to the new roster spot opening up in Atlanta due to Hennessy’s move to IR, the Falcons filled the roster spot opened yesterday by linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji‘s placement on IR. According to Josh Alper of NBC Sports, Atlanta signed defensive lineman Delontae Scott to the roster today. A former undrafted free agent out of SMU, Scott has spent time in Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Carolina over his first three years in the league. He provides some camp depth on defensive line for the rest of the preseason.

Falcons To Sign LB Will Compton?

The Falcons may have added a veteran linebacker. Will Compton announced on Twitter last night that he’s signing with the Falcons. While ESPN’s Field Yates seemed to echo that announcement, Compton himself tweeted this evening that “[y]ear 10 might be in danger” … an indication that the announced deal with Atlanta may not materialize.

Compton had a two-year stretch with Washington that saw him collect more than 200 total tackles, but he’s mostly served as a backup or roster filler since that time. Since leaving Washington following the 2017 campaign, the linebacker has had two separate stints with both the Titans and the Raiders. He got into two games with Las Vegas in 2021, compiling a single tackle.

The 33-year-old, who continues to host a podcast alongside Taylor Lewan, worked out for Atlanta earlier this month. Special teams ace/linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski is currently dealing with an injury, so Compton could be a temporary fill-in.

“I could not have envisioned a better situation than signing with the Atlanta Falcons,” Compton said last night. “Ever since they blew that lead at the Super Bowl, the 28–3 lead, I knew at some point in my career, I’d have to do whatever it took to bring this city a little bit of hope.”

The Falcons did make one confirmed move today, adding Ryan Neuzil to the active roster, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Twitter. With Matt Hennessy sidelined, Neuzil has earned promotions for each of Atlanta’s last three games, with the former UDFA exclusively playing on special teams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/19/22

The league’s minor moves leading up to gameday:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed to active roster: TE Nick Muse
  • Promoted from practice squad: CB Tay Gowan
  • Waived: OLB Benton Whitley

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/22

Here are Thursday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC South

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These moves for the BuccaneersFalconsPanthers and Saints are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Atlanta Falcons


Signed to practice squad:

Carolina Panthers

Release from IR:

Signed to practice squad:

New Orleans Saints


  • K Aldrick Rosas; Rosas is expected to re-sign later this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets


Signed to practice squad:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Signed to practice squad:

Falcons Cut 27 Players, Down To 53

The Falcons are down to 53. With several hours to go before the 4pm ET/3pm CT deadline, the Falcons have released 27 players to meet the new max.

Some of these players will re-appear on the Falcons’ 16-man practice squad, if they’re not scooped up by another team. None of the cuts are particularly surprising, though D’Onta Foreman‘s name stands out on this list. The former UT star is still looking to reprise his rookie year with the Texans when he notched 327 rushing yards and two scores in ten games. However, he’ll have to do it somewhere else.

For now, the Falcons are keeping both of their backup quarterbacks. That means Feleipe Franks and Josh Rosen could be on the roster for the season opener, backstopping Matt Ryan.

Here’s the full rundown:

Falcons Sign 20 UDFAs

The Falcons became the latest team to announce their 2021 UDFA class on Monday, and it’s a big one. Atlanta inked the following 20 rookies to contracts:

We already had full write-ups on the Franks and Hawkins signings, which you can read here and here. Hawkins’ deal came with $35K in guaranteed money, a $5K signing bonus and $30K salary guarantee, veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson tweets.

Meanwhile Thompson, the linebacker from Mississippi State, got $23K guaranteed, Wilson tweets. The Falcons signed three players from Mississippi State, so clearly they liked the program. The signings are pretty spread around, not concentrated on any one position.