Falcons bring back defensive end Derrick Shelby on 1-year deal

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Tyrod Taylor
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Tyrod Taylor /

The Atlanta Falcons have signed defensive end Derrick Shelby to a 1-year deal after releasing him earlier this month.

The Atlanta Falcons are bringing back defensive end Derrick Shelby in 2018 on a 1-year deal, according to his agent David Canter.

Atlanta originally released him earlier this month to clear cap space.

This move is a safe one for Atlanta as their attempt to trade for Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was not successful as he was traded to the Eagles.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn left in free agency for the New England Patriots so the need to fill the DE position had to be addressed by the Falcons.

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In 2017, Shelby was in on 30 tackles. Improvement was made after a mere eight total tackles in his first season in Atlanta in 2016. Defensive line will also be emphasized by the Falcons in the NFL Draft next month. The team is expected to select a defensive tackle.

The original plan was going to be an offensive lineman, but that changed with the recent signing of guard Brandon Fusco.

Shelby will have time to grow at his position as the Falcons will continue to have a top 10 defense heading into 2018. They ranked ninth total in 2017 and much of that was due to the improvement of their defensive line.

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is a rising star for the team and rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley totaled 20 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. This all occured for McKinley while not even being a starter. He is expected to start alongside Vic Beasley in 2018.

Re-signing Shelby definitely provided depth for the Falcons’ defensive line after the departures of Clayborn and defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

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The concern for the defensive end positions has now been filled and now Atlanta can focus on targeting another starter at defensive tackle in the draft to join alongside Grady Jarrett.