Offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka was traded to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed draft pick on Sunday, the Falcons confirmed. The deal was finalized and announced on Monday.
Ojinnaka was suspended without pay for one game by the NFL for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. He still must sit out the season opener for the Patriots.
Ojinnaka, who started five games at right guard last season, may participate in all preseason practices and exhibition games.
Ojinnaka, 6-foot-5, 299-pounds, was a fifth-year reserve. He was drafted out of Syracuse in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. He played in 39 games and made 12 starts for the Falcons.
He was originally drafted to be a cut-blocking tackle in the Alex Gibbs blocking scheme that the Falcons ran under Jim Mora. He started seven games at left tackle in2007.
Apparently Ojinnaka was auditioning for the Patriots, who held two practices with the Falcons last Tuesday in Flowery Branch. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 28-10 on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons have tried to rebuild the depth along their offensive line over the last two offseasons.
They added veteran free agents Brett Romberg and Will Svitek in2009. They also drafted Garrett Reynolds in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. In the 2010 draft, they added guard Mike Johnson in the third round and center Joe Hawley in the fourth round.
The trade of Ojinnaka leaves the Falcons with 78 players on their roster. They have to cut down to 75 players by Aug. 31. The Falcons must cut down to 53 players by Sept. 4.