The Atlanta Falcons are heading into the 2023 season with a much-improved defense. Atlanta added great depth to the secondary and completely rebuilt the interior of the line and the pass rush. The one group that Atlanta made few moves at was at linebacker.
Outside of adding Kaden Elliss the Falcons are running it back with Troy Andersen and Mykal Walker expected to be the top contributors at the position. Last season's leading tackler Rashaan Evans remains a free agent with week one of the preseason now behind us and it is clear the Falcons should entertain a reunion.
Evans is still in the middle of his prime and set career highs last season before struggling to find a landing spot in free agency. It is clear that if Evans returns to start the year it won't be in a starting role and that is likely why Rashaan hasn't been re-signed already.
Asking your leader in tackles from a season ago to rejoin the team in a lesser role is a tough sell but one Atlanta to attempt to make. There are questions with Elliss, Walker, and Andersen as they each attempt to take on a new role.
Having a veteran like Evans ready as a backup plan and simply having his experience in the room is an asset. Considering that Evans is still a free agent it is a fair guess to think that his options have been very limited and perhaps now the veteran would accept a backup role in Atlanta.
Atlanta's defense is clearly ready to take a huge leap forward with the linebackers being the only clear position of concern. Bringing back Evans does a lot to ease these concerns and sets the team up with great depth at every defensive position taking away the final question mark on a greatly improved unit.