The Falcons signed running back Verron Haynes and released wide receiver Troy Bergeron today.
Haynes is a former Georgia Bulldog who played six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2002-07). Haynes filled a dual role with the Steelers, working both as a reserve at running back and fullback, and could potentially do the same here in Atlanta. For his career, Haynes rushed for 738 yards on 174 carries (4.2 avg) and 3 touchdowns. He also caught 58 passes for 429 yards (7.4 avg) and 2 more touchdowns.
Haynes was cut by the Steelers prior to the 2007 season, but was re-signed in late December. He went unsigned as a free agent following the year.
Bergeron was signed over the weekend along with ten undrafted rookie free agents.
The Falcons hired an assistant special teams coach today. Eric Sutulovich comes from the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season as an offensive assistant. Prior to that he was an assistant at the University of Kansas. Prior to that he served as an assistant special teams coach with the Houston Texans for four seasons (2002-05). Prior to that he spent some time as an offensive graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh (2000) and Louisiana Tech (1997-99). He also served as an offensive coordinator at Fort Scott Community College (2001) and for the Casper Calvary (2000) of the Indoor Football League.
Sutulovich replaces Tom McMahon as the assistant special teams coach. McMahon was hired by the St. Louis Rams.
The Falcons announced several roster moves on Tuesday, including the signing of ten undrafted rookie free agents and cutting several players. The names of the undrafted free agents are no surprises, as all had been previously listed here. But the Falcons also signed wide receiver Troy Bergeron and cut four players including: offensive lineman Nathan Bennett, defensive end Simon Fraser, defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead, and cornerback Darius Vinnett.
It is Bergeron’s second stint with the Falcons. He was signed by the team in 2006 as an undrafted free agent but was released at the end of camp. He spent some time during that season on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad. Since, Bergeron has played for the Georgia Force in the Arena Football League.
Fraser and Moorehead were free agent signings made by the team during last off-season. Both Bennett and Vinnett were practice squad additions in December that were added to the Falcons roster after the season.
Various sources have indicated that several players have agreed to sign undrafted free agent contracts with the Falcons. The Falcons currently have 68 players on their roster, not including the eight rookies they selected over the course of Saturday and Sunday. League rules allow for teams to carry up to 80 players on their roster prior to the start of the regular season, meaning the Falcons could potentially add a dozen free agents in the coming week.
As players are signed, we will update this list:
QB John Parker Wilson, Alabama (source)
WR Aaron Kelly, Clemson (source)
WR Darren Mougey, San Diego State (source)
OT Jose Valdez, Arkansas (source)
OG Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia (source)
DE Maurice Lucas, Colorado (source)
LB Brock Christopher, Missouri (source)
LB Derek Nicholson, Florida State (source)
P Robbie Dehaze, Northern Arizona (source)
LS Robert Shiver, Auburn (source
Updating previous reports, Pro Football Talk.com reports that the Falcons had been shopping imprisoned quarterback Michael Vick for a seventh round pick. The team has gotten no interest in trade talks concerning Vick when they first put him on the market in February. Lack of interest in the former three-time Pro Bowl likely is due to the fact that he has yet to be reinstated into the league and that any team acquiring him would take on the remainder of his contract. There is roughly $45 million remaining on Vick’s contract that runs through 2013.
Vick is set to be released from federal prison to home confinement next month until the end of his sentence in July. After which, he will seek reinstatement into the league. He is currently under indefinite suspension stemming from August 2007.
With the team’s last scheduled pick, the team took Georgia Tech defensive tackle Vance Walker with their seventh round pick (210th overall).
Walker was a productive player at Georgia Tech, known mostly for his pass rushing ability. As a junior, he had 8.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 3 forced fumbles. But his production slipped somewhat his senior year, falling to 3 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 1 forced fumble.
The Falcons already took a defensive tackle with their top pick, and add more depth with their last pick.
All in all the Falcons wrap up the draft with 8 draft picks, all but one of which were defensive players.
The Falcons continue their goals of shoring up depth on the defensive side of the ball by taking Miami (FL) linebacker Spencer Adkins in the sixth round (176th overall).
At 5’11″ 246, he showed good speed (clocked at 4.62 in the 40) and was a productive role player for Miami over the years. He showed pass rush potential as a senior with 20 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. Adkins played both inside and outside linebacker for the Hurricanes, making him a versatile backup that can fill in a number of depth positions on the Falcons roster. The team currently only has six linebackers on the roster and Adkins can also potentially help on special teams.
The Falcons used the fifth round pick they acquired from the Dallas Cowboys to take North Carolina offensive tackle Garrett Reynolds with the 156th overall pick. Reynolds could potentially add depth and be developed on the offensive line.
Reynolds, standing 6’8″ 309 pounds is the son of former Rams and 49ers linebacker Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds. Reynolds played mostly right tackle at UNC, but could potentially be a swing tackle for the Falcons filling in for the retired Todd Weiner.
The Falcons traded with the Dallas Cowboys, moving down from their second fifth round pick. The Falcons, originally set to pick at No. 143, moved down in the fifth round to No. 156. They also picked up a seventh rounder from the Cowboys (which they themselves acquired from the Lions). That seventh round pick is No. 210.
The Falcons added another cornerback in the fifth round (138th overall) by taking Furman cornerback William Middleton.
Middleton was a stud at Furman, earning Team MVP honors with 95 tackles, 5 sacks, and 4 interceptions as a senior. The 5’10″ 193-pound corner is an Atlanta native that has the size and potential to possibly play safety as well.
The Falcons already added another cornerback in the third round, and have added another defensive back that can potentially help out right away on special teams.