NFL insider Aaron Wilson reported that the Falcons worked out three players on Tuesday, Oct. 12, including linebacker Daren Bates, wide receiver Cody Core and safety Will Parks.
It seems the Falcons’ main focus here was to strengthen their special teams as all three of these veterans have spent a majority of their snaps on special teams.
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Arthur Smith is Familiar With Bates & Core
Bates, 30, has been a special teams standout throughout his career after entering the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2013. Before getting released, Bates had spent the last four seasons in Tennessee, appearing in 13 games for the Titans in 2020 and playing 66% of the snaps on special teams. Aside from his stint in Tennessee, he’s also split time with the Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, and L.A. Rams. Through nearly nine seasons, Bates has played in 118 NFL games. He’s a familiar face to current Falcons head coach and former Titans offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith.
Core, 27, is another familiar face who worked out with the Falcons back in September. Originally a 2016 sixth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, Core has seen action in 51 career games (seven starts), hauling in 33 receptions for 388 yards and one touchdown. He has also recorded 16 career tackles on special teams. It’s been two years since Core has played in a regular-season game, but when he did he was a key player for the Giants’ special teams where he made 8 tackles and had 33 career receptions for 388 yards and a touchdown Smith and Co. may have seen something promising from the last visit if they invited him back for more.
As for Parks, 27, he was selected by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft. As a rookie, the Arizona product played in all 16 games and racked up 22 tackles (17 solo), three passes defended, one tackle for a loss, recovered one fumble, and an interception. He was referred to as Denver’s ‘swiss army knife’ after being a reliable nickel safety, dime-backer, and special teams’ player.
The Falcons currently have one practice squad spot open after cutting two players and re-signing tight end Parker Hesse on Tuesday. We’ll see what other moves Smith has up his sleeves during Atlanta’s bye week.
Erik Harris Still Remains Questionable
Parks would make the most sense for the Falcons to sign with their starting safety, Erik Harris, questionable with a lingering calf issue.
Harris went down against Washington and did not practice last week, nor did he play in the London game against the New York Jets. Instead, the Falcons were forced to played rookies Richie Grant and Darren Hall in his place.
Adding Parks bring not only versatility but some veteran experience for this young and injured secondary, and struggling special teams.