The Atlanta Falcons continue to look far and wide for help at wide receiver, and they announced on Monday they signed former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Whiteside was originally a 2nd-round pick of the Eagles in 2019 out of Stanford. He started five games as a rookie for the Eagles and two more in 2021.
At 6’2 and 225 pounds, Arcega-Whiteside has a similar build to current Falcons running back / x-factor Cordarrelle Patterson.
He finished his three years in Philadelphia with 16 catches for 290 yards and a touchdown in 40 games. He was a key part of their special teams unit in 2021 with 229 snaps on special teams with five tackles.
Arcega-Whiteside spent time on and off the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad in 2022.
The move cost receiver Jared Bernhardt a spot on the Falcons roster. The Falcons announced they had placed the former lacrosse star on the reserve / retired list. It’s not clear if Bernhardt will be returning to football after seeing action in two games for Atlanta last year.
Falcons defensive tackle Eddie Goldman was also placed on the retired list last season, but he opted to return to Atlanta this year.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had this to say of Arcega-Whiteside coming out of Stanford:
“Big, strong target who plays like he’s big and strong and gets more and more dangerous the closer he gets to the red zone. Arcega-Whiteside plays with functional quickness in spurts, but not enough to get away from tight coverage and he won’t run by many NFL cornerbacks on go routes. However, his basketball bloodlines are on full display every time the ball is in the air, using his body control and ball skills to excel at combat catches and back-shoulder throws. Arcega-Whiteside may not be explosive, but his competitive nature should help make him a future NFL starter.” — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com