Kenjon Barner has signed on with the Atlanta Falcons likely to become the teams new kick returner as well as compete for the third running back job on the depth chart.
We all remember the hit Matt Bosher had on the Kenjon Barner kick return in Carolina on Christmas Eve. Well that guy has just signed a one-year deal with the Falcons. Barner took to twitter after the game to let Bosher know he was coming to Atlanta this off-season. All jokes aside, Barner knew he got the wrong end of the deal on Christmas Eve, but its refreshing to see him joke about it.
Barner has been a career journeyman during his time in the NFL. He has spent his career playing for the Chargers, Patriots, two stints with the Eagles including their Super bowl campaign and three separate times with the Panthers. He’s has made a name for himself as a running back who can do it all, but mainly provides value on special teams.
Barner will compete with Brian Hill for a spot in the Falcons backfield behind Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith. It would also not be a surprise to see the Falcons carry four running backs on the roster this year. However, his biggest role will be as a kick returner where the Falcons have not been very good for most of the last five years.
It’s possible the Barner signing likely means that the team won’t be bringing back Justin Bethel. Bethel, who operated primarily on special teams, was here for a year and didn’t contribute on defense. His special teams prowess was valuable but with Russell Gage going into his sophomore campaign, it’s looking like Gage and Barner will be counted on to take over for Bethel.