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Ed Jasper, Former Falcons DT, Dead at 49

Falcon Report on FanNation 4/18/2022 Falcon Report Staff

Follow along with Falcon Report as we keep you up to date with all firings, hirings, and breaking news in the NFL.

With the 2021 NFL season coming to an end, the offseason begins with tons of rumors, free agency speculation, coaching movements and draft drama.

Who else is on the hot seat? Who will receive a pink slip? Follow along with Falcon Report for up-to-date information on all the moves.

APRIL 18 ED JASPER PASSES AWAY Former Atlanta Falcons DT Ed Jasper passed away Friday in Tyler, Texas. He was 49.

Jasper played nine seasons in the NFL, including six with the Falcons from 1999-2004. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and spent two seasons in Philly before jetting off to Atlanta and one final season with the Oakland Raiders before retiring at the end of the 2005 season. Jasper recorded 17 sacks in his NFL career.

He is survived by many friends and family.

APRIL 13 WADE'S BACK! The XFL has announced its head coaches for when the league returns to action in 2023: And the coaches are ... Hines Ward, Rod Woodson, Bob Stoops, Anthony Becht, Jim Haslett, Reggie Barlow, Terrell Buckley and ... Wade Phillips!

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"So excited and honored to be picked as an XFL Head Coach,'' tweeted Phillips on Wednesday. "Great that XFL is back and so happy to be back myself!''

Phillips, 74, is recognized as one of the NFL's best-ever defensive coordinators. During his long NFL career the son of Houston legend Bum Phillips served as both the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator and interim head coach.

APRIL 13 FROM GM TO PODCASTER? Former Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is adding podcaster to his resume.

Dimitroff's podcast, "The GM Journey," has the former Falcons general manager traveling across the country in his RV to candidly interview NFL general managers.

Dimitroff was the Falcons' GM from 2008-2020 and has not held a position in the NFL since.

APRIL 12 FALCONS SIGN FIRKSER The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a contract with tight end Anthony Firkser.

Firkser is just another ex-Titan who played with head coach Arthur Smith in Tennessee to join the Falcons.

Firkser, 27, spent the first four seasons of his career in Tennessee and caught 34 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns. He's expected to play as the blocker in a lot of two tight end sets alongside Kyle Pitts.

APRIL 12 STARTING DT VISITS Free-agent defensive tackle Vincent Taylor is visiting the Falcons, NFL Network reports. Taylor (6-3, 311) started for the Texans in Week 1 of last season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Taylor, 28, was a sixth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2017 out of Oklahoma State.

APRIL 9 NEW NUMBERS The Atlanta Falcons officially announced new jersey numbers for their free agents signed through April 7.

  • QB Marcus Mariota - 1
  • RB Damien Williams - 6
  • LB Lorenzo Carter - 9
  • WR KhaDarel Hodge - 12
  • WR Auden Tate - 19
  • FS Dean Marlowe - 21
  • CB Cornell Armstrong - 25
  • CB Casey Hayward - 29
  • CB Teez Tabor - 30
  • LS Beau Brinkley - 44
  • OT Elijah Wilkinson - 79
  • TE Brayden Lenius - 86

For the first time in his career, Mariota will wear a number other than 8, which is worn by tight end Kyle Pitts.

APRIL 9 HASKINS DEAD Former Washington starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins died on Saturday, the apparent victim in a car crash.

Haskins was taken with the No. 15 pick by Washington in the 2019 NFL Draft. He showed moments of ability, but his inconsistent play and his off-the-field issues resulted in distrust in D.C. He was released by Washington at the end of the 2021 season and then found his way to Pittsburgh.

Haskins was the third option behind starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph this past season. But Roethlisberger just retired, which was in theory going to possibility open up the possibility for a full reboot of Haskins’ career.

Haskins, who was in training in Florida where the indigent occurred, passes away a month short of his 25th birthday.

APRIL 8 FALCONS SIGN MIKE FORD The Falcons announced the signing of DB Mike Ford Friday afternoon.

Ford, who turns 27 this offseason, played 13 games for the Denver Broncos last season on special teams. Before his year in Denver, Ford spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions.

Ford is expected to compete for one of the team's final roster spots during training camp.

APRIL 8 DOLPHINS SIGN THOMAS MORSTEAD Former Atlanta Falcons punter Thomas Morstead has agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins.

Morstead played in the final seven games for the Falcons last year after being cut by the New York Jets. Before last season, Morstead spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints.

With Morstead off to Miami, the Falcons have last year's practice squad punter Dom Maggio on the roster lining up to be the team's primary punter this season. However, it is still early in free agency and the team could look at other options through free agency and the draft.

APRIL 4 FALCONS SIGN BEAU BRINKLEY The Falcons agreed to terms with long snapper Beau Brinkley on a one-year deal, according to Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson.

Brinkley spent the 2012-20 seasons in Tennessee with Falcons head coach Arthur Smith.

The move comes after Pro Bowl long snapper Josh Harris signed with the Los Angeles Chargers earlier in the offseason.

APRIL 2 OFFSEASON DATES Mark your calendars!

The NFL announced the Falcons' offseason schedule.

The first day of the team's offseason program is April 19, a little less than two weeks before the NFL Draft.

For OTAs ... May 24-26, June 1-3, June 6-9

Mandatory minicamp will take place from June 14-16

All that, plus the NFL Draft to close April and training camp at July's end, and football is here!

APRIL 1 CAP SPACE UPDATE Just over two weeks into free agency, the Atlanta Falcons are still looking to clear some cap space.

The team currently sits 28th in the league in terms of cap space, with just over $4.5 million to spend. The team might use the money to bring in competition for training camp, and focus on the draft for true developmental pieces.

MARCH 30 MALCOLM CALLS IT QUITS After 13 seasons in the NFL, New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins announced his retirement. 

Jenkins spent five seasons with the Saints before joining the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent six seasons with the Eagles before returning to New Orleans to close out the final two seasons of his career with the team that drafted him 14th overall in 2009.

Jenkins always gave Matt Ryan and the offense trouble throughout his career. Now, the Atlanta Falcons won't have to see him twice a year anymore.

MARCH 28 DRAFT ‘24 SET: The NFL has allotted the 2024 NFL Draft to the city of Detroit. The Motor City wins the right over other cities such as Green Bay and Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, it was announced that Kansas City would be the location of the 2023 NFL Draft following its pitch over Green Bay and several other cities. The event is set to take place on April 27-29. 

The 2022 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 28 and will continue through Saturday, April 30. 

MARCH 24 DRAFT ‘23 SET: The NFL has now locked into the dates for the 2023 Draft, scheduled to take place in Kansas City, announcing it will be held April 27-29.

Kansas City was selected as the host city for the 2023 event three years ago.

“This will be one of the biggest and most-anticipated professional sporting events our city has hosted,” Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC, said in a statement.

This year’s NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas on April 28-30.

MARCH 23 TYREEK HILL TRADED FROM CHIEFS Despite being offered a contract extension that would make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs speedster and Georgia native Tyreek Hill is seeking a bigger deal.

And now he’s got that. And a trade.

The Chiefs has given Hill's agent the opportunity to explore a trade for the 28-year-old.

The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins were expected to be the teams interested in trading for the speedster, who moves to Miami … with the Dolphins giving up a load: Chiefs are trading six-time Pro-Bowl WR Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks: a 2022 first-round pick (No. 29), a second-round pick (No. 50) and a fourth-round pick, as well as fourth- and sixth-round picks in the 2023 draft, per ESPN.

Oh, and Hill gets a new deal, too: a four-year, $120 million extension, including $72.2 million guaranteed.

MARCH 23 FALCONS MIX IT UP WITH COACHING STAFF The Atlanta Falcons have named T.J. Yates the team’s receivers coach and Mario Jeberaeel the assistant offensive line coach. Yates served as the team's passing game specialist last season and played quarterback for the Falcons in 2014, while Jeberaeel interned and helped the offensive line.

The Falcons have also hired Steve Jackson as a senior offensive assistant, Shawn Flaherty as a football analyst, Steven King as the diversity coaching intern and Nick Edwards as an offensive assistant. Jackson last coached the Cincinnati Bengals secondary for the past two seasons, while Flaherty assisted the Miami Dolphins on staff for the past three seasons. King was the special teams quality control coach at the University of North Carolina and Edwards was the offensive coordinator at Cal Poly University. Edwards is a former NFL player, who joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2013. Edwards was part of the same rookie class at the same position alongside current Falcons running back/wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

MARCH 21: WILKINSON CONTRACT Elijah Wilkinson signs on with the Falcons via a one-year, $1.187 million deal, per PFN. Wilkinson, 27, has started about half of his 58 NFL games, with Denver and Chicago. The 6-6, 320-pounder projects as a swing tackle in Atlanta.

MARCH 21 BULLDOG TO FALCONS The Atlanta Falcons are signing edge rusher Lorenzo Carter to a one-year deal. Here is the breakdown:

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The one-year deal totals $3.5 million and includes a $2 mil signing bonus, with a base salary of $1.5M.

Carter is a former Norcross High standout and of course starred for the University of Georgia as well. The 26-year-old is 6-5, 255 and was a Giants third-round pick in 2018.

MARCH 17 FALCONS 4 The Falcons have signed offensive lineman Colby Gossett, defensive lineman Anthony Rush, cornerback Teez Tabor and offensive lineman Elijah Wilkinson to one-year contracts. 

Gossett appeared in 15 games for Atlanta last year, primarily on special teams. Rush made five starts for the Falcons in 2021. 

Tabor was originally selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Florida. 

Wilkinson has appeared in 57 games with 27 starts over five seasons with the Broncos and Bears.

MARCH 17 CLEVELAND OUT The Atlanta Falcons are still in the race for Deshaun Watson ... and one of the other suitors just got ousted.

The soon-to-be-traded Houston Texans QB got the "red-and-black carpet'' treatment in his Wednesday meeting with the Falcons.

Good for Atlanta. Bad for Cleveland, as the Browns have been informed (story via ESPN) that they are no longer in the running.

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The Falcons, like the Saints (seen by some as the front-runners), Panthers and Browns before them, have submitted to Houston a trade proposal for the three-time Pro Bowl selection. It be be assumed that the Texans have essentially said "yes'' to the deals on their end.

Now it's up to Watson to say "yes'' to a suitor. And it looks like he's saying "no'' to Cleveland.

MARCH 16 MR. JONES TO THE WEST....THE AFC WEST

The Las Vegas Raiders are signing Arizona Cardinals pass rusher Chandler Jones to a multi-year deal. In a corresponding move, the Indianapolis Colts are trading for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. 

Jones, 32, became an All-Pro pass rusher following a trade from the New England Patriots in 2016. In six seasons with the Cardinals, Jones recorded 262 tackles, 71.5 sacks, 23 forced fumbles and 19 pass deflections. 

Jones is one of only three active players in the NFL with over 100 career sacks, joining Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt and Rams outside linebacker Von Miller. The Raiders are also expected to be in play for both cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tyrann Mathieu. 

MARCH 14 CAPTAIN CARLTON REMAINS IN "TOMPA BAY" The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bringing back cornerback Carlton Davis on a three-year extension worth $45 million, $30 million of which is guaranteed. Davis now marks the second biggest move by Buccaneers' GM Jason Licht following the return of quarterback Tom Brady. 

Davis, 25, has been the top cornerback in Tampa since arriving in 2018 out of Auburn. Last season, he recorded 39 tackles, 11 pass deflections and an interception in 10 games. He was expected to garner interest from multiple teams as the second-ranked corner behind J.C. Jackson, who signed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers. 

For his career, Davis had recorded 207 tackles, 52 pass breakups and six interceptions. He will average roughly $15 million per season. 

MARCH 14 COWBOY CEDRICK HEADS TO AFC EAST The Miami Dolphins are signing former Dallas Cowboys receiver Cedrick Wilson to a three-year deal. He is expected to earn $22.8 million, $12.75 million is fully guaranteed. 

A reliable No. 4 receiver in Dallas, Wilson posted a career-best in 2021. He tallied 45 catches for 602 and six touchdowns while averaging 13.2 yards per catch. The Cowboys were hopeful to come to terms with Wilson and fellow receiver Michael Gallup following the trade of Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns. 

Miami is hopeful Wilson can be a stronger option than former Texans receiver Will Fuller. Signed to a one-year, $10.5 million deal, Fuller played in two games, recording four catches for 26 yards. 

Atlanta is expected to be in the market for another receiver following the suspension of Calvin Ridley. 

MARCH 14 COX COMES BACK TO INDIANAPOLIS The Colts are re-signing tight end Mo Alie-Cox on a three-year extension, according to league reports. Cox was an undrafted free agent signed by Indianapolis after playing college basketball at VCU.

With the retirement of tight end Jack Doyle, keeping Cox became a priority for Colts' GM Chris Ballard. Last season. the former Rams 'power forward recorded 24 catches for 316 yards and tallied a career-best four touchdowns. He averaged 13.4 yards per play.

For his career, Cox has recorded 70 catches for 946 yards and eight touchdowns. The details on the contract have not been finalized as of this time. 

MARCH 14 FORMER FALCON GETS PAID TOP DOLLAR The Green Bay Packers are bringing back former Falcons linebacker De'vondre Campbell on a five-year deal worth $50 million. The news was first reported by Sports Illustrated's Bill Huber of PackersCentral.com 

Campbell, 28, was drafted in the fourth round by Atlanta in 2016 out of Minnesota. In four season with the Falcons, he recorded 363 total tackles, 18 tackles for losses 5.5 sacks and three interceptions. 

Betting on himself last offseason, Campbell agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $2 million, he became a sensation under new defensive coordinator Joe Barry. He recorded a career-best 146 tackles and two interceptions.

MARCH 14 REDDICK LEAVES NFC SOUTH JOINS THE NFC EAST The Philadelphia Eagles are signing pass rusher Haason Reddick to a three-year deal worth $45 million. Reddick is expected to replace former first-round pick Derek Barnett, who was selected one pick after him in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Reddick struggled to begin his career at inside linebacker when drafted by the Arizona Cardinals. Signing a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers last offseason, the 27-year-old reunited with Matt Rhule and became the team's top pass rusher. Rhule recruited Reddick out of high school to play for Temple.

Last season, Reddick recorded 11 sacks and 68 total tackles. In the past two seasons, he has tallied 23.5 of his 31 career sacks. 

MARCH 14 STARTING LINEBACKER FOYE OLUOKUN AGREES WITH JAGUARS After developing from a sixth-round draft pick in 2018 to the NFL's leading tackler in 2021, linebacker Foye Oluokun is leaving the Atlanta Falcons to sign a long-term contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to the NFL Network.

The deal is reportedly for three years, $45 million with $28 million guaranteed.

The 27th linebacker drafted in 2018, Oluokun grew into one of Atlanta's best playmakers and started all 17 games in 2021. Last season he earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week for a game-saving interception against the Lions and led the league in tackles, recording the seventh-most in NFL history.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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MARCH 14 FORMER No. 2 PICK GETS SECOND SHOT IN PITTSBURGH

The Pittsburgh Steelers are singing former No. 2 pick Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year contract. Trubisky last played for the Buffalo Bills and was drafted initially by the Chicago Bears in 2017. 

In four seasons with Chicago, Trubisky posted a 29-21 record and threw for 10,652 yards, 64 touchdowns and 38 interceptions. He completed 64.4 percent of his passes. 

The Steelers are replacing 18-year veteran Ben Roethlisberger, who elected to retire following the 2021 season. Pittsburgh has yet to have a losing season under Mike Tomlin and made the postseason at 9-7-1 last fall. 

MARCH 14 FALCONS MISS ON PRO BOWLER CONNER The Arizona Cardinals and running back James Conner have agreed to terms on a three-year extension, according to NFL Network. Conner, 26, is set to make up to $25.5 million, with $13.5 million guaranteed 

Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Pitt in 2017, Conner spent four seasons in his hometown and produced mixed results. Signing a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, he became the team's top runner, recording 752 rushing yards, 375 receiving yards and scoring 18 total touchdowns.

Conner is the second major signing by Arizona this week. On Sunday, tight end Zach Ertz agreed to terms on a three-year extension worth $31.65 million.

The Falcons are one of several teams looking to upgrade their running back room at the start of free agency.

MARCH 14 CHASE-ING THE BAG

Former Arizona Cardinals running back and potential Atlanta Falcons signee Chase Edmonds is moving to the east coast, signing with the Miami Dolphins.

Edmonds signed a 2-year, $12.6 million contract with $6.1 million guaranteed.

Last season, Edmonds ran for a career-best 592 yards and two touchdowns while catching 43 passes for 311 yards as a receiver.

With Edmonds' price set, it creates a market and approximate price for running backs that the Falcons will soon pursue.

MARCH 13 PSYCH! BRADY'S BACK!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced on social media that he is un-retiring and returning to the Bucs for his 23rd NFL season.

© Kim Klement | 2021 Jan 3

© Kim Klement | 2021 Jan 3
© Provided by Washington Football on FanNation

Brady announced his retirement two months ago, but revealed that he didn't want to part ways with the game just yet.

These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG

MARCH 13 GALLUP-ING BACK TO DALLAS 

One day after the Dallas Cowboys parted ways with wide receiver Amari Cooper, they expressed their commitment to another in-house receiver.

According to NFL Network, the NFC East rival Cowboys are signing Michael Gallup to a five year deal worth $62.5 million.

Gallup tore his ACL in January, but is expected to make a full recovery in time for the regular season when it kicks off in September.

MAR 10 KHALIL MACK DEALT TO L.A. CHARGERS

The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers are working on a trade that will send six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Khalil Mack to L.A.

In return, the Bears receive the 48th overall pick in April's draft and a 2023 sixth-round selection.

Mack, 31, returns to the AFC West after spending the past four seasons in the Windy City. Mack played the first four seasons of his career with the Oakland Raiders.

The move comes just two days after the Denver Broncos acquired Russell Wilson, and this trade could be considered as the Chargers' response in an attempt at improving right alongside their competition in what is likely the best division in the NFL.

MAR 9 MR. WENTZ HEADS TO WASHINGTON The Washington Commanders are trading for Indianapolis quarterback Carson Wentz. According to ESPN, the Commanders will send at least two third-round picks in exchange for the former No. 2 pick.

Wentz, 29, was traded by the Philadelphia Eagles last season in exchange for a conditional first-round pick. In his lone season under Frank Reich, Wentz threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 62.4 percent of his passes.

The Colts finished 9-8, missing the playoffs due to a Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. When asked on Wentz's long-term status last week, Colts' general manager Chris Ballard remained noncommittal of his role moving forward.

"The really accurate QBs in this league, they usually have really, really good mechanics," Ballard said. "Can he get better? Yes. But usually when you get in the game, you revert back. But he can get better."

MAR 8 RUSSELL WILSON TRADED TO BRONCOS

After being dangled in trade rumors all offseason long, Russell Wilson has found a new home in a trade to the Denver Broncos.

Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports

Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports
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Wilson spent 10 seasons with the Seahawks, winning a pair of NFC Championships in 2013-14 and a Super Bowl victory against his new team, the Broncos.

Wilson has two years left on his deal, set to make $41 million.

MAR 8 RODGERS STAYS WITH GREEN BAY

Aaron Rodgers has committed to the Green Bay Packers for next season.

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
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Rodgers, a trade target for the Washington Commanders, was contemplating retirement or possibly forcing his way to the Denver Broncos to reunite with ex-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, but he will now return to Green Bay to play his 18th NFL season.

Rodgers reportedly signed a contract keeping him in Green Bay for the next four years and is set to make $200 million over the course of the deal, making it the largest contract in NFL history. However, Rodgers tweeted out that the contract report was inaccurate.

MAR 4 AMARI COOPER 'LIKELY' TO BE CUT BY COWBOYS

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According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cowboys are "likely" to release wide receiver Amari Cooper at the start of the league year on March 16.

Cooper caught 68 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

With Calvin Ridley potentially departing (read more here), the Falcons could open the door for Cooper to be the top receiver the offense is looking for.

MAR 2 RUDOLPH LEAVES GIANTS

Sam Navarro/USA Today Sports

Sam Navarro/USA Today Sports
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Kyle Rudolph is parting ways with the New York Giants after one season with the team.

Rudolph caught 26 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown this season for the Giants.

Rudolph, 32, spent 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before signing a 2-year, $12 million contract with the Giants.

Rudolph now becomes one of the top veteran free agents at the tight end position, and a potential fit for the Atlanta Falcons, who saw backup Lee Smith retire in the offseason.

FEB 20 COACH PHILLIPS Wes Phillips is continuing a rich family football tradition, the grandson of Bum Phillips, son of Wade Phillips and former Dallas Cowboys assistant now joining the Minnesota Vikings as their new offensive coordinator under head coach Kevin O’Connell.

Phillips has been on the Rams staff, where McConnell was recently as Los Angeles won the Super Bowl.

Wes, 42, a native of Houston, was in Dallas from 2007 to 2013 in a variety of roles, including time when dad Wade, now 74, was the Cowboys head coach.

Grandfather Bum was of course a legendary former Houston Oilers coach.

FEB 19 FLORES HIRED The Steelers have named Brian Flores as their senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach.

Flores was most recently the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and in the wake of his recent firing - and his job interviews for head coaching positions that did not come to fruition, including in Houston - has filed a lawsuit against the NFL claiming racial injustices in the league's hiring practices.

"I am excited about Brian Flores joining our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Brian's resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team."

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