Falcons Set to Re-Sign ‘Top Notch’ Safety: Report

JJ Wilcox

Getty J.J. Wilcox #27 of the Dallas Cowboys.

With injuries plaguing the Falcons’ defense, the team has plans to re-sign a familiar face, safety J.J. Wilcox per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Wilcox went into the summer of 2019 with hopes to be on the Falcons depth chart at No. 3 or 4, but it didn’t work out in his favor. Atlanta gave him another shot and re-signed him this offseason, but Wilcox surprisingly didn’t make the practice squad.

Atlanta Needs Help

Atlanta could use all the help they can get at the safety position.

Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal are hurt and questionable for Sunday against the Panthers. Jaylinn Hawkins is dealing with a concussion and Damontae Kazee is ruled out for the season with and Achilles injury.

The Falcons are now down to two healthy options, Sharrod Neasman and Jamal Carter. The problem with these two is that they struggled against the Packers on Monday leaving Atlanta unable to cover running backs and tight ends all year. Wilcox won’t swoop in and save the day alone, but he has the power and physicality to help the team win.

Practice squad safety T.J. Green could also be elevated unless Wilcox is able to join the squad or roster on Sunday.

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Falcons Weren’t Sure About Re-Signing Wilcox the First Time

Back in August, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team wasn’t sure if they were going to re-sign Wilcox for the offseason but after some analyzing they thought he would be a good fit.

“He’s a top notch guy who if he’s healthy, which we believe that he is, he can continue to help us in that depth of safeties,” Dimitroff told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We weren’t sure if we were going to sign him back. We are in the middle of gathering all of our secondary and putting it together.

“As we looked at our team, we thought he was the right person to bring back and throw into the mix there and let there be some amazing competition.”

This is the reason why it was a surprise when he didn’t make the first round of cuts.

Wilcox’s Veteran Experience

Over his seven-year career, Wilcox has played in a total of 77 NFL games (39 starts) and has made 233 tackles (173 solo), 16 pass breakups, six interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

Prior to signing with the Falcons in 2019, Wilcox was a third-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. After four years in Dallas, he went on to have stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets.

Wilcox, 28, had his most notable run came with the Dallas Cowboys. After his four seasons in Dallas, Wilcox recorded 212 tackles, 15 pass defenses, five interceptions, and three fumble recoveries in 38 starts as a safety.

Heading into training camp last year, Wilcox was considered a fairly strong candidate for a backup safety spot. He unfortunately never got to show off his talents due to a season-ending injury—it’s his time now.

READ NEXT: Falcons Starting Safety to Miss Rest of NFL Season

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