Free agency is heating up and they don’t call Atlanta, Hotlanta for nothing! The Falcons wasted no time adding fuel to what seemed like a dwindling fire in the backfield last year.
Atlanta signed Paul Soliai, the former Miami dolphins starting nose tackle. Soliai was a fourth round pick of the Dolphins in the 2007 draft. Last season Soliai finished with a recorded 35 tackles, two sacks and 5 pass deflections.
Soliai was signed to a 5 year, $33 million deal, including $11 million for the 2014 season, and he is guaranteed a reported $14.5 million- a pretty hefty price, but a necessary cost for the Falcons.
With talks of a 3-4 base defense in 2014, Soliai fits the bill. At his size, 6’4″ and 340 pounds, Soliai occupies enough space to clog up the running lanes and has the length to distract quarterbacks looking to throw to an open target.
The Falcons also signed former Kansas City Chief’s first round draft pick, defensive end Tyson Jackson – reuniting him with former Chief’s general manager, Scott Pioli who is the Falcon’s new assistant GM as of this year. Jackson’s strength, like Soliai, is stopping the run. In his 5 year career with the Chiefs, he recorded 137 tackles and 9 sacks 7 of which in the last two seasons.
It’s possible the Falcons aren’t done with defensive lineman in free agency, but with the addition of Soliai and Jackson, the Falcons definitely created some sparks.