Atlanta Falcons Get Free Agent Steals in CB Kelvin Hayden and S James Sanders
There were two tweets confirming each signing.
The first came from ESPN's Adam Schefter, in regards to Sanders:
"Former Patriots safety James Sanders and the Atlanta Falcons reached agreement tonight on a one-year deal."
The second came from the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora on Hayden:
"Falcons have agreed to terms with CB Kelvin Hayden."
Both moves make a lot of sense for the Falcons.
Sanders is a veteran safety who was one of the leaders in the Patriots secondary. He started nine games last season and was responsible for calling the plays for the secondary on most occasions. That made his release somewhat surprising, but it should be the Falcons' gain.
He can come in right away and compete with what Atlanta has at the position. It may be unlikely, but Sanders could end up winning a spot as a starter. Either way, the Falcons got themselves solid depth at the position.
Hayden is another good pickup. He has plenty of experience at cornerback and can help a unit that was exposed in the playoffs last season by Aaron Rodgers.
Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson are both solid starters, but the Falcons needed depth behind them. That's exactly what Hayden could give Atlanta. He should be an upgrade over what the Falcons were throwing out in the nickel previously.
Hayden's injury history is a tad concerning, but he was worth the chance.
Both players were also signed on one-year deals, which keeps them both cheap. As veterans of two winning franchises, it was a no-brainer for a team like the Falcons to bring them in.
Atlanta has Super Bowl aspirations of their own, and the secondary was one area many point to as a weakness. These two might not be the missing pieces to a championship puzzle, but there's no arguing that both Sanders and Hayden can help the Falcons accomplish that goal this season.