The Atlanta Falcons have had an incredibly-busy first day of the contact period of free agency, and they kept it going during prime time. The Falcons have come to terms with former New Orleans Saints linebacker Kaden Elliss according to Ian Rapoport on Monday night.
“The Falcons make another big move on defense, as former Saints LB Kaden Elliss is headed to Atlanta, sources say,” reported Rapoport on Twitter. With seven sacks and 78 tackles in 11 starts, he became a hot free agent. He shined in his opportunity, now cashes in.”
Grady Jarrett led the Falcons in sacks in 2022 with six. No one else had more than four.
At 6’3 and 238 pounds Elliss may be taking the place of Rashaan Evans who played well on a one-year deal for the Falcons last year. Rookie linebacker Troy Andersen will be safe.
He could also see himself at edge during pass rush situations to take advantage of his pass rush ability.
Elliss is the second former Saints player to be re-united with former co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. Nielsen took the defensive coordinator job in Atlanta in January and helped bring defensive tackle David Onyemata to the Falcons earlier on Monday.
The Falcons are also scheduled to sign former Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates.
Atlanta has spent a lot of their premium draft picks on offense the last two years with top-ten picks going to tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London.
The defense has had to take a backseat while Atlanta struggled to get out from under the franchise-crippling contracts of players like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Deion Jones among others.
With the bulk of those contracts off the books, Atlanta had plenty of available resources to hit the free agent market.
And they’ve come out swinging on the first day with big pickups in Onyemata, Bates, and Elliss.