Falcons bulk up OL with Fonoti

property of Sign On San Diego.com The Falcons signed Miami Dolphins offensive guard Toniu Fonoti to a one-year contract according to Scout.com’s Adam Caplan.

Fonoti, listed at 6’4″ 350 pounds is a massive interior blocker that will likely have the chance to earn a starting position with the Falcons at left guard. The Falcons released the incumbent starter, Matt Lehr, more than a week ago.

After a promising start to his career in 2002 where he started 14 games for the San Diego Chargers as a second round pick, injuries and weight concerns have hampered Fonoti since. He missed the entire 2003 with a foot injury. He came back to start every game for the Chargers in 2004, but was traded the Vikings midway through the 2005 season. He managed only 3 starts in Minnesota before a groin injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He failed to make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster last summer, but was picked up by the Dolphins in November and appeared in six games.

Reportedly, Fonoti’s weight ballooned up to over 400 pounds last spring with the Buccaneers, but he managed to bring the weight down to 370 by the start of training camp. Previously, he had signed with the Oakland Raiders, but had failed his physical due to his excessive weight, freeing him up to sign with the Buccaneers.

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Aaron Freeman

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