NFL free agency has been open for two weeks now, and most of the high-profile players are off the market. Some teams have been very active in bolstering their roster, and the Atlanta Falcons are one of those teams.
Almost overnight, the Falcons have completely overhauled their roster. The main highlight was signing former Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates, the best safety on the market, to a four-year deal. Other highlights include signing defensive tackle David Onyemata from the rival New Orleans Saints and retaining offensive lineman Kaleb McGary. The Falcons entered free agency with the second-most cap space in the league, and they certainly put it to use.
With these big signings, though, some of the smaller ones have flown under the radar. Atlanta has also signed some important depth pieces that could make an impact for their new team. In particular, one of those players stands out as Atlanta's sneakiest free agency move.
So, without further ado, let's meet that player.
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Mack Hollins is the Falcons' sneakiest free agency signing
For most of his career, Mack Hollins wasn't much more than a depth wide receiver. Hollins, a 2017 fourth-round pick from North Carolina, had just 46 catches for 750 yards and six touchdowns in his first five seasons, splitting time between the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. He did score four of those touchdowns in 2021, leading to him getting a one-year deal from the Las Vegas Raiders last offseason.
This move turned out great for both sides, as Hollins broke out with the Raiders last season. He shattered his career-highs with 57 receptions and 690 yards and tied his career-high with four touchdowns. With Hunter Renfrow missing a good chunk of the season with an injury, Hollins became the Raiders' second -leading receiver behind Davante Adams.
Even still, the Raiders' decided not to re-sign him after his strong campaign. The Falcons were the beneficiaries of this move, signing Hollins to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
Atlanta's wide receiver room desperately needed some help this offseason. Drake London had a nice rookie season in 2022, hauling in 72 receptions for 833 yards and four touchdowns. However, there is not much behind London on the depth chart.
In terms of receiving yards, Atlanta's three wideouts behind London in 2022 were Olamide Zaccheus, Dhamiere Byrd, and KhaDarel Hodge. As of now, all three of those players are still free agents. If they end up finding new homes, the Falcons' already weak receiving corps will look even more barren.
Obviously, Hollins won't fix this problem by himself and Atlanta will likely add more receivers later in the offseason. However, he's much better than having nothing, and even better than those three receivers individually. He has proven more than many options out there and should have a good impact on the offense.
Atlanta appears to be all-in on second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder after he took over the starting role late last season. In that case, they need to surround him with quality weapons to ensure he has a chance to succeed. The Falcons still have a long way to go to accomplish that goal, but signing Hollins was a good start.