Having already signed key players at the start of free agency, in hopes to strengthen the defense, the Falcons are looking to spruce up their return game, and it is reported they inked a one-year deal with returner/cornerback Javier Arenas. The team had already met with former Denver Broncos return specialist, Trindon Holliday over the weekend and former Chicago Bears wide receiver/return specialist, Devin Hester, who made a visit early Tuesday. Holliday is now with the New York Giants, and while Hester is still a free agent, he has expressed interest in playing for the Miami Dolphins.
Arenas was originally drafted in the second round (50th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He played his first three seasons with the Chiefs and was with the Arizona Cardinals last season. Arenas has 106 career NFL punt returns for 1,029 yards (9.7 per return) and 74 kickoff returns for 1,568 yards (21.2 yards per return).
As we already know, the Falcons recently hired assistant general manager, Scott Pioli – the former the general manager of Kansas City. Pioli drafted Arenas during his time with the Chiefs. Players that were newly signed to contracts with the Falcons at the start of this year’s free agency, also from Kansas City with ties to Piolo include OG Jon Asamoah and DE Tyson Jackson. It wouldn’t hurt to say Piolo yet again could’ve had something to do with the signing of Arenas.
With Devin Hester still up for grabs, it is possible we could see him Atlanta. If that were to happen, Arenas would more than likely wind up being a backup option at kick returner. Either way, Hester or Arenas, the Falcons who struggled in the return game last season, could use the consistency.
Formally a Crimson Tide star, Arenas joins former University of Alabama teammates Julio Jones and Mike Johnson with the Falcons.