The Atlanta Falcons are set to beef up their defensive line of scrimmage by signing former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata according to Mike Garafolo.
“Falcons have agreed to terms with DT David Onyemata, source says,” reported Garafolo on Twitter. “Reunites with defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen.”
Fortifying the defensive line of scrimmage was a huge priority for the Falcons this offseason, and they’ve come out swinging on the first day of the free agency contact period.
Onyemata is 6’4 and 300 pounds and will be an ideal running mate next to Grady Jarrett.
He has played all seven of his previous seasons with the Saints after being a fourth-round draft pick in 2016 out of Manitoba, Canada.
Last year the 30-year old started all-17 games for the Saints’ fifth-ranked defense and compiled 43 tackles with five tackles for loss and five sacks. Jarrett led the Falcons with six sacks last season, and no one else had more than four.
The Falcons strength on the interior should help free up young edge rushers like last year’s second-round pick Arnold Ebiketie who showed promise but had just 2.5 sacks.
Adam Schefter reports the Falcons will give Onyemata a three-year $35-million deal with $24.5-million guaranteed…essentially a two-year $12-million deal with a third year option.
The deal will take the Falcons available-cap space to around the $45-million mark which will still put them in the top three for available space.
The Falcons are still in good position to add to the defense with the possibility of Onyemata’s former teammate Marcus Davenport at edge and Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates being prime targets.