The Atlanta Falcons are on the cusp of re-signing edge rusher Lorenzo Carter according to a report from Ian Rapoport.
“Falcons free agent pass-rusher Lorenzo Carter is headed back into the building today in Atlanta, set to sign a two-year deal, sources say,” reported Rapoport on twitter. “Off the free agent board, Atlanta keeps one of their productive young players.”
Still just 27-years old, Carter started all-17 games for the Falcons last year and recorded four sacks. He signed as a free agent prior to the 2022 season and rewarded the Falcons with consistent edge play.
Carter had just a $2.5-million cap hit in 2022 and proved to be excellent value in free agency.
The Falcons would like to add to the edge room and use Carter as a rotational piece in 2023, and they’ve been linked with jumbo-edge rushers Lukas Van Ness of Iowa and Tyree Wilson of Texas Tech with the No. 8 pick in the draft.
Carter weighs 255 pounds and Van Ness and Wilson checked in at the NFL Combine at 272 and 271 respectively.
The Falcons pass rush improved marginally in 2022 to 21 sacks after an impossibly-low 18 in 2021. Carter helped, but the Falcons will look to get more production out of the position in 2023 after re-signing Carter and more experience for last year’s second-round draft pick Arnold Ebiketie.
With just 20 sacks, the Falcons still ranked 31st in the NFL in total sacks, so there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Carter is a good piece of the puzzle for the Falcons defense, but expect Atlanta to continue to address the edge position in the draft AND free agency.