On Monday, the team announced the addition of two free agents, outside linebacker Emmeuel Ellerbee and offensive lineman Jason Spriggs.
To make some room, the Falcons also cut running back Tony Brooks-James and have reached the max 90 players on the roster heading into camp.
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Ellerbee Is a Familiar Face
Ellerbee, 24, originally signed with the Falcons in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He will get a second chance to make the squad after being waived before Week 1 during his first go-around with the team.
Following his first short stint in Atlanta, he headed to LA where played three games as a special teamer for the Chargers. He ended up finishing the 2018 season in Seattle where he bounced between the active roster and practice squad. In 2019, he spent the season on the injured reserve before ending up in Houston playing on the Texans practice squad in 2020..
While he hasn’t found much success in the NFL, he was a monster during his collegiate career at Rice where he posted a total of 14.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks between his junior and senior seasons.
He brings special teams experience to Atlanta and will compete amongst the linebackers group for a roster spot.
Spriggs Is a Former Second-Round Pick
Spriggs, a former second-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2016, has yet to play in a key role with injuries getting in the way. Most recently, he spent the 2020 season playing with the Chicago Bears.
At 27 years old in five NFL seasons, Spriggs has appeared in 44 games over four seasons with just nine starts.
With Matt Gono’s status unknown and a dire need at left guard, Spriggs will likely fall into the heated competition during training camp and shoot for a swing tackle job. And with the Falcons’ offensive line currently in shambles, he shouldn’t have a problem making the cut.
He will be competing heavily with rookie Jalen Mayfield, whose role hasn’t been established either.
Brooks-James Continues His Bounce Around the League
Brooks-James has been bouncing around the NFL since 2019 when his career began after an invite to the Falcons’ rookie minicamp where he impressed and spent the summer in Atlanta.
After not making the cut ahead of Week 1, Brooks-James hopped over to the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. His stint was cut short once again until the Pittsburgh Steelers came to the rescue and gave him his first NFL debut that season before releasing him two weeks later. He finished the 2019 on the Minnesota Vikings’ practiced squad before being waived once again.
In 2020, he signed again with the Falcons who activated him in November against the Raiders. Brooks-James will be on the hunt for a special teams role elsewhere while the Falcons set on returners Cordarelle Patterson and rookie Avery Williams.