The Falcons announced the hiring of former Bears GM Ryan Pace in February, as he joins the personnel department as a senior personnel executive. Atlanta undoubtedly gave a thorough evaluation of this free-agent class, and Pace provided an inside perspective of Chicago’s crop of free agents.
The Falcons might be the new Bears of the south because Atlanta has shown interest in or signed just about every Chicago free agent on the market. The organization clearly trusts the people inside the building. When Arthur Smith was filling out his staff last spring, the first-time head coach hired Dave Ragone and Charles London, which resulted in multiple free agent signings due to their relationships from Chicago. The most notable being Cordarrelle Patterson, who had a career year in 2021.
Then, this offseason, Terry Fontenot hired Pace. It seems Pace has Fontenot’s ear because the Falcons have signed six members of the Bears’ 2021 roster — Eddie Goldman, Damien Williams, Germain Ifedi, Damiere Byrd, Elijah Wilkinson, and Teez Tabor.
Goldman will undoubtedly have the most significant impact in 2022 among the former Bears. Williams and Byrd will be battling for one of the final roster spots at their respective position. Ifedi and Wilkinson will likely make the roster, given their versatility to play multiple spots along the offensive line. And Tabor’s ability to play corner and safety should contribute heavily to him making the roster.
Some might not make it, but Fontenot clearly trusts Pace’s opinion. Given how poorly his stint in Chicago went, I’m not sure how great of an idea that really is.
Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire