2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
7-9, 2nd in NFC South

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Tight end Logan Paulsen's value extends beyond what he can do on the football field. Paulsen is an extension of the coaching staff and helped mentor 2019 Pro Bowler's Austin Hooper of the Falcons and George Kittle of the 49ers. The Falcons bringing him back on a one-year deal makes sense, particularly with the bond he established with Hooper and his ability to serve as a blocker while catching an occasional pass. Although the Falcons signed blocking tight end Luke Stocker to a two-year contract the other day, Stocker is capable of playing more of a fullback role for the team.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

The Falcons added a veteran running back with kick/punt return ability with Kenjon Barner, who agreed to a one-year contract. Barner (5-9, 195) might have a chance to be a third running back behind Devonta Freeman (5-8, 206) and Ito Smith (5-9, 195), although one would think the Falcons might want a little bigger back for short-yardage situations (Brian Hill and Jeremy Langford are bigger and still on the roster). Any third back has to have special-teams ability, and Barner has 31 career kick returns for an average of 23.2 yards and 37 career punt returns for an average of 7.8 yards. His averages are a little bit better than what the Falcons got from the combination of Marvin Hall and Justin Hardy last season. Barner, who ran a 4.52 speed coming out of a college, has excellent straight-line speed but probably not the same as he used to, considering he turns 30 in April.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons agree to two-year contract with veteran tight end Luke Stocker, last with the Titans. Another body alongside top tight end Austin Hooper. Falcons need a blocking tight end, too, with Logan Paulson apparently not in the mix anymore as a free agent. Stocker played with current Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter when Koetter was in Tampa. Had a career-high 16 receptions with the Bucs in 2012. Had 15 last year in 11 starts with the Titans. So, his primary role is not to be a pass-catcher, although he's capable.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Ryan Schraeder to me on his release: ``The last six years have been nothing short of amazing. I can't put into words what this team and city mean to me. I want to personally thank Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, Scott Pioli, Dan Quinn, and Chris Morgan. The whole organization is first-class, and I am very lucky to have this experience. I'd also like to thank all the fans personally. You guys rock, and the love you showed me was real. Thanks Atlanta!!!

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's a take on new Falcons offensive guard Jamon Brown from a scout familiar with him: ``Like him. He helped stabilize [the Giants] line. Big, athletic, great guy in the locker room who plays hard. A few penalty issues and will miss a line twist from time to time.''

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Guard Jamon Brown's three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Falcons includes $12.75 million guaranteed, including a $5.5 million signing bonus. His cap number for 2019 is $4,333,333. His base salaries are $2.5 million (2019), $4.75 million (2020), and $6 million (2021). No bonuses worked in. His '19 salary fully guaranteed.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Guard James Carpenter's four-year, $21 million contract with the Falcons includes $9.25 million guaranteed, including a $3.5 million signing bonus. His cap number for 2019 is $2.875 million. Base salaries are $2 million (2019), $3.75 million (2020), $5 million (2021), and $5 million (2022). First year's salary fully guaranteed. Roster bonuses tied into '20, '21, '22.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons have informed former starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder of his release, Schraeder's agent told ESPN. The release saves $3.95 million against the 2019 cap. Schraeder had three years and $18.8 million remaining on his deal. Schraeder lost his starting job to Ty Sambrailo, who was signed to a three-year contract extension. Falcons view Sambrailo as potential starter, but wouldn't be a surprise to see the Falcons target a tackle in the draft. Falcons set to add James Carpenter and Jamon Brown at guard to beef up the offensive line.

David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire
8d

Sources: Falcons to sign OL Carpenter, Brown

James Carpenter intends to sign a four-year deal with the Falcons, while Jamon Brown is planning to join the team on a three-year deal, sources told ESPN.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons addressing the offensive line via free agency. Adam Schefter reports the team is signing former Jets left guard James Carpenter to a four-year contract. Carpenter has 97 career starts with both the Jets and Seattle Seahawks, primarily at left guard. As ESPN's Rich Cimini noted, Carpenter coming off shoulder surgery and didn't finish the season. Falcons also set to sign guard Jamon Brown to a three-year deal, a source told ESPN. Brown started eight games for the Giants at right guard last season. Falcons not content with what they have at guard next to Alex Mack with Wes Schweitzer more of a backup and Brandon Fusco coming back from a broken ankle. This probably means the Falcons will address defensive tackle with the 14th overall pick in the draft despite interest in Oklahoma's Cody Ford and others.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

I asked Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff today about the potential to make Julio Jones the league's highest-paid receiver in the neighborhood of $20 million per year-plus following the Antonio Brown news: ``I believe there are a handful of elite receivers -- of course Julio being one of this group -- so, of course, he has the ability to be top paid.'' Dimitroff has had a brief discussion with Jones' agent, Jimmy Sexton. Jones has two years and more than $21 million left on contract that averages $14.25 mil per year. His cap number of $13,466,666 for 2019 would shrink significantly with an extension.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

The Atlanta Falcons will face the Denver Broncos in the Hall of Fame game on Thursday, Aug. 1, in Canton, Ohio. Falcons have appeared in three Hall of Fame preseason games, going 1-3. Last appearance was 1994 with the Falcons beating the Chargers, 21-17. Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is going into the Hall of Fame that weekend. It could be the first game action for Devonta Freeman (groin), Keanu Neal (ACL), and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) coming off a season-ending injuries, depending on their progress.

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons have started talks regarding a long-term extension for linebacker Deion Jones, according to a source. Jones, with one year left on his rookie deal, is a priority right behind Grady Jarrett and Julio Jones. Deion Jones is scheduled to make $1,069,860 in 2019. From a team perspective, Falcons want to lock up one of their top young talents for years to come and probably want to do it sooner than later before the price tag skyrockets. Carolina's Luke Kuechly tops the inside linebackers at $12.4 million per year. Jones came back from a broken foot last year and performed at a high level to close out the season. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017. Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher called Jones a ``bad mother f***'' for being a fast linebacker capable of covering anyone.

Adam Schefter ESPN Senior Writer 

Falcons placed franchise tag on DT Grady Jarrett, per source

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Didn't cover the NFL Combine but was in Indy for a few days bumping into folks. Here are some items I came across: 1. The Falcons have a strong interest in Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford (6-4, 329) and had a formal meeting with him. They love his toughness. Ford started at right tackle in 14 games last season and started at left guard for seven games in 2016 and 2017. 2. The preference would be for defensive tackle Grady Jarrett to hit the open market and land a lucrative deal, but that's unlikely to happen with the Falcons bound to use the franchise tag ($15.2 million) by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline. The two sides are a ``long ways away'' from a long-term deal. And there was word at the combine among executives that Jarrett is looking for Aaron Donald money ($22.5 million per year). That Donald reference, however, didn't come from Jarrett's camp. 3. As the Falcons look to add bodies along the offensive line, keep an eye on Kevin Pamphile (6-5, 315). The offensive tackle started 31 games in Dirk Koetter's system in Tampa, and there are whispers about the Falcons being interested in reuniting him with Koetter in Atlanta. Pamphile is set to become a free agent after spending last season in Tennessee with former Falcons QB coach Matt LaFleur. Pamphile had just two starts with Titans and went on IR due to an undisclosed injury. Ryan Schraeder's status remains in limbo, and coaches and executives around the league view Ty Sambrailo as a backup, at best. 4. This might be a longshot but an intriguing option to replace Tevin Coleman, who is expected to leave in free agency, might be Duke Johnson from the Browns. Johnson could be the odd guy out with Kareem Hunt joining Georgia's Nick Chubb in Cleveland. But Johnson's status no doubt depends on what type of suspension Hunt receives from the league. Johnson has three years and $11.6 million left on his contract so it would have to be a trade scenario. Johnson and Devonta Freeman both are former Liberty City Warriors out of Miami under Luther 'Uncle Luke'' Campbell. 5. One of the reasons the Falcons were happy to receive two compensatory picks in the fourth and fifth rounds is because it gives them a chance to address two position of needs via the draft: return specialist and blocking tight end. The staff dissected both spots extensively earlier in the week during the combine. 6. Don't be surprised if two Falcons end up retiring.

Team Stats

Passing Yards290.84th
Rushing Yards98.327th
Points For25.910th
Points Against26.425th

2019 Draft Picks

RD(PK)PLAYERPOSSCHOOL
1(14)
2(13)
3(15)
4(15)
4(35)
5(14)
5(34)
6(13)
7(16)