The Atlanta Falcons announced today that defensive end/linebacker Kroy Biermann would be returning to the team for his eighth season. Biermann became an unrestricted free agent earlier this month. Terms of Biermann’s contract are unknown as of yet.
The Falcons originally drafted Biermann in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, making him one of the team’s longest-tenured players. Only Roddy White, Jonathan Babineaux have been with the team longer, with Matt Ryan and Sam Baker also joining the Falcons in 2008.
Biermann has proven a valuable and versatile reserve over the years in Atlanta, playing defensive end and more recently linebacker. He began his career as a defensive end, working his way into the starting lineup in 2010. He made 14 starts that season, recording 28 tackles and three sacks following a career-high of five sacks in 2009 as a reserve. Biermann would return to the bench in 2011 after the team added Ray Edwards in free agency, but would usurp Edwards by year’s end as the team’s secondary pass-rusher across from John Abraham on passing downs.
Upon the arrival of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan in 2012, Biermann saw his role transform into more of a linebacker. He managed what at the time was a career-best 46 tackles along with four sacks in that first year under Nolan as a key reserve.
He made the permanent move to strong-side linebacker in 2013, but tore his Achilles during the team’s second game that season. He returned in 2014 to start 15 games, tallying a career-high 75 tackles and also adding 4.5 sacks on the year. For his career, Biermann has started 37 of 98 games, totaled 234 tackles, 21 sacks, two interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.
Biermann was seemingly replaced when the Falcons signed linebacker Brooks Reed earlier this month. It’s unknown yet if Biermann will play defensive end or linebacker under new head coach Dan Quinn. The team has already added other players at both positions in defensive end Adrian Clayborn and outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield. Both Clayborn and Schofield were signed to one-year deals. Should Biermann have also signed a one-year deal, it would likely indicate that he is destined for a reserve role under Quinn. Biermann has also added value on special teams over the years, collecting 35 total tackles over his first six seasons in Atlanta.