After finishing with just 28 sacks in 2019 and a 7-9 season record, the Falcons knew they had to bring in a quality pass rusher.
Atlanta looked to LA Rams’ DE Dante Fowler this offseason. Fowler, who is coming off of his best career season yet, joined NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” show to talk about his offseason decision to sign with the ‘A.’
Also, follow the Heavy on Falcons Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
A Special Relationship
Ranking No.9 in the league last year, Fowler was one of the most sought after pass rushers in the business but he picked Atlanta due to some familiarity.
Atlanta is completely out of the ordinary for him considering Fowler played for the Florida Gators when Falcons head coach Dann Quinn was the defensive coordinator for Florida.
“Just being with the guy that recruited me out of high school, basically turning me into the player that you guys see now,” Fowler said of Dan Quinn.
It’s not every day an NFL player gets to reunite with the same guy who believed in him in his high school years.
“When I came to UF Dan Quinn had this position called the ‘butt position’ and I flourished in that and played really well in it,” Fowler said. “That kind of became sort of my identity about what type of player I was—as a hybrid linebacker that can also put his hand in the dirt and know that to just have a nose to get to the quarterback.”
Fowler’s nickname is “Six.” Quinn actually gave it to him in Florida. He’s been the number six since ‘Pop Warner’ days. Fowler plans to keep the number 56 in Atlanta because it’s his two favorite numbers. The number five in ’56’ has to do with him growing up and watching Reggie Bush highlights.
Falcons Hit the Jackpot With Fowler
It’s hard not to feel bad for Rams fans as they’ve lost a few of their best players this offseason. This is a group that includes lineman Michael Brockers, linebacker Cory Littleton and slot cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman.
But the Falcons needed this addition. Vic Beasley couldn’t finish the job last year so it was time for him to leave Atlanta and for the team to find a new fit for the position they struggled at most last season. With only 28 sacks the entire year, the Falcons ranked second to last in the NFL.
The deal with Fowler is worth up to $48 million over the next three years. That’s a good investment.
Fowler, 26, came to the Rams in 2018 through a midseason trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, He helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl. He was set to become a free agent before last season but signed a one-year, $12-million contract with the Rams that also included $2 million in performance incentives.
Fowler had a stellar year last season and recorded a career-best 11.5 sacks for the Rams. However, the team still finished 9-7 and ended up missing the playoffs.
Fowler was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the third overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Missouri. He has had a total of 27.5 career sacks in the NFL.
Sundays just got a little more fun in Atlanta.
READ NEXT: Falcons Todd Gurley ‘Feeling Good’, ‘Ready to Go’ Against Seahawks