Ex-Giants LB Deone Bucannon, Falcons Agree to Contract

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 21, 2020

New York Giants outside linebacker Deone Bucannon stands on the field during an NFL football game against he Washington Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

Linebacker Deone Bucannon is headed to the Atlanta Falcons for the 2020 season. 

A former first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2014, Bucannon spent last year with the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recording 25 combined tackles in 14 games playing mostly off the bench. 

Atlanta Falcons @AtlantaFalcons

We have agreed to terms with LB Deone Bucannon. 📝 - https://t.co/m9k8oyrIaz https://t.co/Fuoe19m0wV

The Falcons announced the move Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Even before the NFC South became a powerhouse overnight thanks to Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Drew Brees returning to the New Orleans Saints and Teddy Bridgewater signing with the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons had plenty of work to do on defense.

Atlanta finished last season ranked 20th in the league with 355.8 yards allowed per game. The team also gave up 24.9 points per game, the 10th-worst mark in the league. 

The team went to great lengths to add depth on defense this offseason hoping for quick improvement. Before Bucannon, Atlanta had already agreed to deals with defensive tackle Tyeler Davison and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. while trading for another defensive end in Charles Harris. 

Will McFadden of AtlantaFalcons.com explained where Bucannon fits in with his new team:

"The Falcons' 2020 offseason has been largely about adding versatility to their defense, and this move is a continuation of that theme. At 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds, Bucannon is much smaller than a typical linebacker – even by today's standards – but he offers the physicality to play a role in a big nickel package. His athleticism at the linebacker position is also a positive and something the Falcons covet on their defense."

In adding Bucannon, the Falcons get a 27-year-old, 6'1", 211-pound former All-American who is only a few years removed from a 2017 season in which he recorded 82 tackles, two forced fumbles, one interception and three pass deflections.