Falcons sign S Erik Harris, LB Brandon Copeland to 1-year deals

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Matt Urben
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It’s been a slow start to free agency for the Atlanta Falcons, unless you’re a big fan of contract restructuring and salary cap details. Things finally began to pick up on Friday, though, with the team announcing that linebacker Brandon Copeland and safety Erik Harris have been signed to one-year contracts.

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The amount of money each deal is worth hasn’t yet been specified, but neither player was going to break the bank. In Copeland, the Falcons get some critical linebacker depth as defensive coordinator Dean Pees is likely run more 3-4 looks than the team has in years past.

Copeland played in 66 career NFL games, recording 119 total tackles (79 solo), seven sacks and 19 QB hits. As mentioned earlier, the former Patriots, Jets and Lions linebacker has experience with Atlanta’s LBs coach, Frank Bush, from his time in New York.

As for Harris, his professional football career began in the Canadian Football League. He spent time with Saints in 2016 before signing with the Raiders, where he started 30 games over the past four years. During his time in Oakland/Las Vegas, Harris accounted for 189 tackles (148 solo), 20 passes defended, five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

Atlanta was extremely thin at the safety position after having cut Ricardo Allen a few weeks ago, plus the team isn’t expected to retain Keanu Neal or Damontae Kazee.

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