Falcons Re-Sign Exclusive Rights Free Agent DT: Report

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Jacob Tuioti-Mariner of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with teammates after forcing and recovering a fumble by Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders on November 29, 2020.

According to Ian Rapoport, National Insider for NFL Network and NFL.com, the Atlanta Falcons have signed defensive tackle Jacob Tuioti-Mariner to a one-year contract.

Tuioti-Mariner, 24, appeared in all 16 games for Atlanta last year, playing 35 percent of the defensive snaps as part of the defensive line rotation. He also played 48 percent of the club’s special teams snaps. Along the way, he recorded 31 total tackles (24 solo), a sack, five quarterback hits and two passes defensed. He also forced a fumble and had three fumble recoveries.

Tuioti-Mariner—listed at 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds—was an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA) who originally signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2018 out of UCLA. He appeared in eight games with one start in 2019 after spending the first half of that season on the practice squad.

The Corona, Calif. Native was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and has two older brothers who played college football, one at the University of Hawaii and one at the University of Colorado.

Tuioti-Mariner had his most impactful NFL game to date against the Las Vegas Raiders last November, when he had three tackles (two solo), as well as a sack, forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries en route to a 43-6 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If he continues to improve it wouldn’t be a surprise if he earned a more significant role than he had a season ago.


The Falcons Still Need to Get Cap Compliant

Being that he was an ERFA, the Tuioti-Mariner signing won’t have much impact on Atlanta’s salary cap, as his contact is likely at or near the veteran minimum salary for a player of his experience level.

Yet the team remains $14,196,796 above the cap limit (according to overthecap.com’s projections) even after the release of veteran guard James Carpenter on Wednesday, which saved the team approximately $4 million. Last month the Falcons released veteran safety Ricardo Allen and defensive end Allen Bailey, which saved Atlanta $10.75 million in cap space.

The NFL’s new league year begins on March 17 at 4 p.m. ET, by which time the Falcons will need to be under the salary cap, which has been set at $182.5 million for 2021.


March 11 Pro Days

Meanwhile, today is one of the biggest days on the Pro Day schedule, as it includes Clemson and the University of Texas.

OT Jackson Carman, RB Travis Etienne, QB Trevor Lawrence, WR Cornell Powell and WR Amari Rodgers are among the Clemson players being scouted today. Last year Atlanta selected former Tigers CB A.J. Terrell with the No. 16 overall pick in the draft. And in 2015, the Falcons drafted two players from Clemson: OLB Vic Beasley in the first round and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett in the fifth round.

The NFL prospects working out at Texas today include: OT Sam Cosmi, WR Brennan Eagles, QB Sam Ehlinger, DT TQ Graham, DE Joseph Ossai and S Caden Sterns.

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