The Atlanta Falcons announced last night that they had signed linebacker Darin Drakeford and waived kicker Sergio Castillo. Drakeford’s signing adds depth at linebacker, a problem area for the Falcons in recent weeks. Castillo performed relatively well in his preseason debut on Friday evening against the Miami Dolphins, but with kicker Matt Bryant and punter Matt Bosher locked into their jobs, he became expendable.
Drakeford’s signing comes in the wake of news that inside linebacker Tim Dobbins suffered an ankle injury against the Dolphins and according to head coach Mike Smith is expected to miss a couple of days. Although Drakeford’s signing suggests that Dobbins might be out for a bit longer given the team’s decision to address the position. However, given that the Falcons had already shown interest in veteran linebackers in recent weeks, it was likely a position they wanted to address from the start.
Drakeford is a second-year player that was an undrafted rookie out of Maryland last season. He went to camp with the Kansas City Chiefs and started the season on their practice squad before brief stints on the practice squads of the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. The Colts cut him at the end of last season, and he’s been out of football until the Falcons scooped him up.
Castillo is an undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M that was signed by the Falcons in June. He connected on two field goals of 21 and 34 yards on Friday night, and also punted twice for an average of 46.5 yards.