After just one day of training camp, the Atlanta Falcons are already dealing with injuries, and as a result, have made a new acquisition.
The team signed veteran defensive end Allen Bailey, announcing the move in a statement.
Bailey’s addition comes after reserve defensive tackle Michael Bennet reportedly broke his ankle during his initial practice on the first day of the team’s training camp.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said the team would be bringing Bailey in during a conversation with 92.9 FM (Atlanta) on Tuesday morning.
Quinn didn’t make the financial terms available, but NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Bailey signed a two year contract worth $10.5 million, is set to earn $6.5 million this coming season, and will take home $3.5 million in guarantees.
“[We liked the] attitude that he likes to play, his style and hopefully today he’ll get his physical and paper work is Allen Bailey,” Quinn said. “[We expect him] to come out this way and contribute.”
The Falcons also reportedly lost veteran backup safety J.J. Wilcox for the 2019 season after he tore the ACL in his right knee during his first practice at camp on Monday.
Atlanta also signed free agent defensive end Steven Means this offseason, but he will also miss the season after he suffered an Achilles injury.
Bailey was originally a third round selection from Miami by the Kansas City Chiefs eight years ago. In all, he appeared in 102 contests for that team, starting 61 games, and recording 207 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 34 tackles for loss, 33 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries.
Bailey was promoted to a starting position for the past five seasons and is most recently coming off a career year in Kansas City in which he had six sacks and 10 quarterback hits alongside Chris Jones for a team that played in the AFC Championship Game against New England in January.
Especially skilled at exploiting one on one matchups on the edge, Bailey emerged as one of the more consistently productive pass rushers in the conference last season, routinely shrinking the size of the passing pocket and forcing opposing quarterbacks into quick decisions or succumbing to hits.
His experience playing in the 3-4 alignment as an end could possibly translate as a kind of interior pass rusher for the Falcons, who operate with four down linemen on defense.
The Patriots organization was in contact with Bailey starting from the first days of the free agency period, but their current interest in him is not known, and at that time, there was a belief that Bailey would eventually re-sign with the Chiefs instead.
Bailey visited with the Falcons organization as a free agent in early June.
Atlanta struggled rushing the passer on a regular basis last season, ranking just 22nd in the NFL with 37 total sacks, and placing second worst in third down conversions allowed.