Duron Harmon was signed by the Atlanta Falcons last week as a free agent and should be penciled in as a starting safety in the 2021 season. Harmon has made a statement with his choice of jersey number for the Falcons as he’ll wear #21 in Atlanta.
#21 Deion Sanders is in the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor, was a three time Pro-Bowl selection and two time first team All-Pro with the Falcons. He’s generally considered one of the greatest corners in the history of the NFL, and easily the best to wear a Falcons uniform.
Harmon also wore #21 with the Patriots before wearing #26 in Detroit.
The #21 was also worn by Eric Metcalf for two seasons after Sanders left Atlanta, and he had nearly 1,200 yards receiving as a slot receiver in June Jones’ Run ‘n Shoot offense.
Another corner, Desmond Trufant was the most recent to wear #21 on defense. The former first round pick out of Washington had a good career with the Falcons including a trip to the Pro-Bowl in 2015.
Most recently, the #21 was worn by running back Todd Gurley. Gurley’s tenure in Atlanta only lasted the 2020 season, and like Falcons, his year was seen as a disappointment with only 842 yards from scrimmage. It was the first time Gurley failed to crack 1,000 in his six year career.
Harmon spoke to the media for the first time this week and was asked why he chose the Falcons in free agency.
“I kind of reached out to the Falcons,” said Harmon. ” I thought it would be a great opportunity for myself. Just knowing some of the coaches that are over here. Played against Arthur Smith offense the last three years. A dominant offense, running the ball, throwing the ball, having one of the most efficient offenses when he was at the Titans.
You go over to the defense led by Dean Pees.Not enough great things you can say about Dean Pees. He’s been a great defensive coordinator for a long time. He’s coached a lot of great safeties.
The scheme that he runs, it involves the safeties a lot. You need a lot of good playmakers at safety. You gotta be smart. You gotta be able to disguise. You gotta be able to do a lot of different things.
I just thought for myself it would be a good fit.
Obviously I had the relationship with Marquice Williams (Atlanta’s Special Teams coordinator) over in Detroit. He kind of popped it off a little bit for me. I was happy that we were able to come to an agreement, and I’m just excited. Excited for the opportunity.
At the end of the day that’s all it is, an opportunity for me to go out there and play good football, do what I can do, earn a role on the team, and see where it goes from there.”