There’s still plenty of great players available in free agency, but we’re past most of the frenzy. With calmer waters ahead, Falcons Maven wanted to take a look at one of the best free agent signings in team history as part of a special Throwback Thursday.
On March 9, 2016, Atlanta signed Mack to a five-year, $45 million deal with $28.5 million guaranteed. Now three years into that deal, Mack has become perhaps the best free agent signing ever for the Atlanta Falcons.
In three years with the Falcons, Mack has made the Pro Bowl every season. He immediately solidified the offensive line during his first season in 2016, helping to lead to a trip to the Super Bowl.
The 33-year-old played his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns, making two Pro Bowl appearances. But he missed 11 games during his final season in Cleveland, who let him walk in free agency.
Mack excels in both run blocking and pass protection. During his first season, the Falcons finished third in passing and fifth in rushing.
Atlanta’s offense hasn’t been as protective since offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left for San Francisco, but don’t blame that on Mack. With the additions the team just made at guard this week and with perhaps another tackle from the draft, the Falcons could have an offensive line unit that is ready to help this team back to the playoffs.
Even at 33 years old, Atlanta is building its offensive line around Mack.