Justin Hardy is returning to Atlanta for another year
Justin Hardy is coming back to Atlanta on a one-year deal.
By resigning Justin Hardy, the Falcons are keeping their wide receiver room in tact for another year. Of the six receivers active on a weekly basis last year, five are coming back. The one player not coming back? Marvin Hall Jr., who has agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bears.
Hardy is not a signing that will move the needle, but he is one of three players remaining from Dan Quinn’s first draft class (2015) as head coach, the other two are Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett. We know what we’re getting with Hardy, he provides value on special teams and another veteran option for Matt Ryan in the passing game.
Even though Hardy hasn’t produced more than 221 receiving yards in a single season in four years with the team, he seems to be well liked in the receiver room and the locker room and that bodes well for the team. Anytime you can stabilize a position and resist significant change in one area, it stands to benefit that side of the ball, just ask the Patriots and their lack of movement in the coaching carousel for the most part.
More importantly than anything, this resigning helps to stabilize special teams in Atlanta which has not always been special. Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff are making a statement that they are not going to just stick a bunch of rookies on their special teams units, that they want a veteran presence on that third aspect of football that most people forget about, until it fails.
The Falcons obviously don’t need an infusion of talent at wide receiver, but they did have a need at the bottom of the depth chart. Hardy is the perfect guy for the job. Unless he proves to be a significant asset on offense next year, I believe it will be his last in a Falcons uniform, especially with Russell Gage, younger and cheaper, waiting in the wings.