The Atlanta Falcons added depth to their offensive line when they signed free agent Gabe Carimi. That offensive line was particularly atrocious last year, and it was one of the main reasons why they struggled through a disappointing season. A major offseason focus for general manager Thomas Dimitroff and the rest of the front office is to rebuild the line, and bringing in Carimi is just the beginning.
A former first-round pick of the Chicago Bears from the University of Wisconsin, Carimi has failed to live to expectations for far in the NFL. He’s struggled through knee injuries and was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before last season, and then was released by the Bucs.
Carimi brings depth to a line that needs it, but that line needs starters more. Only one starter, Justin Blalock, last year played well enough for the team to be comfortable bringing him back. Sam Baker has been reliable in the past, but his season was lost to a knee injury and the jury is still out as to whether he can come back and be the same player he was before.
The Falcons are likely to look both in the draft and in free agency for new starters up front. There are too many spots to fill to think they can just use one or the other. The problem is a major one that the front office needs to keep focusing on this offseason.
The Falcons need a complete rebuild on the offensive line heading into next year, and signing Carimi for depth is a good step in the right direction.