The Falcons have signed outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter on a one-year deal, the organization announced on Tuesday. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was first to report.
A major area of concern for the Falcons in 2022 is in pass rush. So, it goes without saying that a major area of need this offseason was at outside linebacker.
The Falcons released Dante Fowler last month, and the only remaining edge rusher who actively saw the field in 2021 is Ade Ogundeji. It would seem Atlanta has started the process of bringing in new reinforcements as the first week of free agency comes to a close.
Carter comes to the Falcons from the Giants, where he spent the last four season. The Giants selected Carter in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft after he spent four years at the University of Georgia.
In his first two seasons in New York, Carter started 14 games and accumulated 8.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss and 23 quarterback hits. He was well on his way to a hopeful and productive third season in the league when he ruptured his Achilles in Week 5 of the 2020 season. He was placed on injured-reserve and missed the rest of the Giants' season.
Carter came back from injury in 2021 and finished the season with five sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles. Carter looked to be settling back into a solid rhythm in the final stretch of games last season. All of Carter's sacks came in the final four games, as did six of his eight quarterback hits and five of his six tackles for a loss. Those two forced fumbles? They also came during that stretch of games, too.
Do those final games of the 2021 season hint at an important upward trend for the outside linebacker in 2022? The Falcons would hope so.