After a feelgood win against NFC South opponent Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7, the Atlanta Falcons appear to be looking at the glass half-full once again at 2-4. On Tuesday, the Falcons made some moves to patch some holes on defense for the 2013 NFL season through free agency, signing veteran linebacker Thomas Howard, in addition to signing safety Sean Baker to the practice squad.
Howard, who already has six seasons under his belt playing for the Oakland Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals, has recorded 492 tackles (391 solo) with seven interceptions, six sacks, and two defensive touchdowns in his NFL career. Not too shabby if you ask me. Howard should definitely add a little veteran spark to this defensive roster and also help against the run. Baker, who spent some of 2012 as a member of the Buccaneers’ practice squad, could also be another reliable fallback if another Falcon goes down with injury. Baker set a school record with 18 interceptions and recorded 320 tackles (166 solo) with two sacks in four seasons as a college player for Ball State.
This is nothing to brag about to the media, but at this point, these moves are better than no moves at all. With Kroy Biermann out for the year and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon out until possibly Week 11, Atlanta has to fill those voids somehow. Atlanta has tested the waters before in free agency in the offseason with defensive end Richard Seymour. But even though Seymour has a lot of respect for the Falcons organization and has ties to the state of Georgia as a former Georgia Bulldog, Seymour’s self worth proved to be little much for Atlanta. Atlanta could also go after another unsigned free agent in Takeo Spikes, but he has already shown in the past to demand a paycheck too high considering the wear on his tires as a 15-year vet. The Falcons made a good move signing more affordable veterans in the short-run and should save their draft picks for next season. This organization has already surrendered enough draft picks from the Julio Jones pickup to even consider a trade before the trade deadline.