Falcons Shore Up Depth By Adding Graham and Brown

Jason Getz-USA TODAY SportsShayne Graham

The Atlanta Falcons announced several roster moves today including the signings of kicker Shayne Graham and safety Sergio Brown as well as the waiving of kicker Nick Rose. Graham returns to the Falcons after finishing 2015 with the team as an injury replacement for Matt Bryant.

In five games with the Falcons last season, Graham connected on 11 of 13 field-goal attempts. Graham’s return is likely prompted by muscle tightness suffered by Bryant last week, which prompted him to miss this past week’s preseason win over the Cleveland Browns.

Graham, 38, is a 14-year veteran that has spent the past few years bouncing from team to team. Prior to signing with the Falcons, he spent time on the rosters of 11 different teams between 2010 and 2014 and managed to appear in a game for six of them in that span. Prior to earning his journeyman status, Graham spent seven years with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 to 2009 and is second on that team’s all-time scoring list with 779 points. Graham entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie after a one-game stint in the AF2 league following a record-setting career at Virginia Tech that saw him earn first-team All-Big East honors all four seasons.

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Sergio Brown

Brown, 28, is also likely an attempt to shore up depth due to injury concerns since backup strong safety Kemal Ishmael missed the Browns game with a shoulder injury. Brown spent last year playing with the Jacksonville Jaguars at free safety and was released this past offseason. In 2015 with the Jaguars, Brown had a career-best 36 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups. Brown has spent the bulk of his career producing on special teams, where he has 34 career stops.

Brown’s NFL career began as an undrafted rookie free agent with the New England Patriots in 2010 after starting two seasons at Notre Dame. Brown played primarily on special teams with the Patriots before signing with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. He also starred on special teams for two seasons before a four-game suspension to veteran safety LaRon Landry at the outset of the 2014 season forced him into the starting lineup at free safety. Brown managed to outperform Landry in his absence and maintained the starting role well after Landry’s return. He finished that year with 33 tackles, one sack in eight starts. For his career, Brown his 15 starts, one interception, 2.5 sacks and 10 pass breakups.

Rose struggled in two preseason games with the Falcons, missing three of four field-goal attempts. He was an undrafted free agent signed by the team after this past year’s draft after a productive career at Texas, where he spent the bulk of his career serving as a kickoff specialist.

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Aaron Freeman
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