James Sanders agrees to 1-year deal with Falcons

Safety James Sanders in action for New England. (Associated Press)

Safety James Sanders in action for New England. (Associated Press)

UPDATE:

Safety James Sanders agreed to a one-year contract with the Falcons on Tuesday, according to his agent Gary Uberstine.

He worked out for the team on Tuesday after being released by the New England Patriots on Monday.

Since being drafted in the fourth-round of the 2005 draft, he’s played in 84 NFL games and has made 50 starts. He played in 15 games last season and made nine starts.

He was drafted by the Patriots when Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff  was their director of college scouting.

PREVIOUS POST:

Defensive back James Sanders, who was released by the New England Patriots, is set to visit the Falcons on Tuesday, the team confirmed.

Sanders, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2005 when Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was with the team, plays strong safety. He can also play free safety.

“Tough release there with James Sanders,’’ New England coach Bill Belichick told the Boston Globe. “James has been a good guy to have on this team. A hard-working kid. He really has developed from the time he came to us as a draft choice from Fresno [State] and he’s been a really solid team player for us but we just, part of the move, needed to release people. But he was a tough one.’’

Sanders was drafted in the fourth round. In six seasons with the Patriots, he registered 301 tackles and eight interceptions in 84 regular-season games with 50 starts.

Sanders was slated to make $2.8 million with New England.

“Not a lot of negatives with James, but we have to select the players that we feel like are best for our team,’’ Belichick told the Globe.

The Falcons don’t have much experienced depth behind starting safeties William Moore and Thomas DeCoud. On the depth chart released for the final exhibition game, Rafael Bush, Rafael Priest and Matt Hansen are listed as the backup strong safeties behind Moore.  Shann Schillinger and Suaesi Tuimaunei are listed as the backup free safeties behind DeCoud.

The Falcons have a competition at nickel back between Christopher Owens and Dominique Franks, but Sanders has not played the nickel back position.

The Falcons pass defense struggled against Pittsburgh; giving up touchdown passes of 77 and 44 yards. The pass defense ranked 22nd in the league last season.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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83 comments Add your comment

moe

August 30th, 2011
3:23 am

1st we need some bodly there . they got there A@$ burned this week

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Sunshine Falcon

August 30th, 2011
5:41 am

After watching the pass defense get torched against Pittsburgh. The Falcons really need to bring in some better DB’s off of the waiver wire.

DC Dirty Bird

August 30th, 2011
6:53 am

James Sanders would be a good pick up. We don’t have any depth at safety. Decoud hasn’t been pushed since he landed the starting position.

Head-Mo-Fo

August 30th, 2011
7:00 am

Experienced depth at Safety would be nice. While DeCoud has been healthy Moore hits like a tank and that style could present problems as the season wears on.

Falcon88

August 30th, 2011
7:12 am

I agree with mo-fo another guy back there will not hurt just for depth an a talented db can move to nickel with ease think it will be a good move if it happens

D man

August 30th, 2011
7:20 am

This team needs depth. we need a corner more than anything.

punjabiinatl

August 30th, 2011
7:27 am

sander will be nice for depth, need db help…..make a trade or do something! otherwise we will be torch all season …..

Jimmy Crack

August 30th, 2011
7:37 am

Take him!!!

We need a veteran mind at one of the safety positions. Using two yutes isn’t working.

gill

August 30th, 2011
7:53 am

decoud he`s just not in tthe game. it s` like he don`t want to be there?????

welikebaseball2

August 30th, 2011
8:18 am

As everyone’s said already, the added depth surely doesn’t hurt. However, we desperately need a veteran CB to push for the nikel back spot. We’re one injury away from Franks or Owens being a starter. In a pass-happy league that’s dangerous. None of truly elite defenses have an Owens or Franks locked in as their 3rd CB. What’s sad is we knew at the end of last season/postseason that we needed to upgrade the CB position. I can appreciate the idea of developing a big play offense, but what good is that if your defense gives up big plays?

UB the man

August 30th, 2011
8:34 am

What nickels are out there??????

UB the man

August 30th, 2011
8:35 am

and is Sanders an upgrade over decoud?

DC Dirty Bird

August 30th, 2011
8:35 am

Baseball, while i don’t disagree with bringin in a veteran corner, name one team other than the Packers that go four deep at corner without taking a huge cap hit like the Eagles?

terrance X

August 30th, 2011
9:08 am

when i saw last night that he’d been released i had a feeling the falcons would be interested

Die Hard Falcon

August 30th, 2011
9:11 am

Has anyone picked up Darren Sharper? I think he’d be a terrific patch for the back end for a season or maybe 2. He is a vet that’s had successful and is a student of the game type, he could teach our young safeties a lot and be valuable in the clutch or if we have an injury. Anyone know if he’s caught on anywhere? Plus, it’d be a good move to pick up an ex-aint and find out more about there D gameplan.

Die Hard Falcon

August 30th, 2011
9:13 am

UB — I don’t know that Sanders is an upgrade of DeCoud, but he’s definitely an upgrade to anyone other backups at FS or SS that we currently have and I think that’s the reason we’re looking at him.

Big Dude

August 30th, 2011
9:13 am

Him coming in can’t hurt. Can only be a positive.

welikebaseball2

August 30th, 2011
9:35 am

@UB the man: Right now there aren’t many (if any) options, but there will be once teams make their final cuts. Between now & the start of the season, there’s bound to be someone out there who’s considered an upgrade over Owens & Franks. @DC Dirty Bird: I’m not saying bring in a starting-caliber, starter-money CB. I’m not even saying our 4th CB has to be all that, but if you look at our nikel back options versus those of the truly elite defenses it’s not even close. I truly believe we can fortify that spot without breaking the bank. I think we’re one affordable, veteran CB away from closing the gap between ourselves & those elite defenses.

Pete

August 30th, 2011
10:26 am

After that DEBACLE in Pitt-town, a 3rd string released safety from Canadian football would be an upgrade.

Pauls Johnson

August 30th, 2011
10:49 am

Sign him Up!

Chop Buster

August 30th, 2011
10:52 am

DLed, what’s the word around the Falcons? Is Sanders being brought in as depth or will he compete for a starting job? Decoud has been asleep at the wheel since 2009 and I don’t know why the big drop off in play. He doesn’t seem to have the same level of play ever since his bell got rung (concussion).

rodneyo11

August 30th, 2011
10:54 am

Sanders would be a good pick up & plus he brings a winning attitude to the team. We need help in the secondary NOW

Nik

August 30th, 2011
10:59 am

THat will be our achilles again this year…

Seattle Falcons Fan

August 30th, 2011
12:03 pm

Good move…. Now bring in Andre Gurode as backup C and a nickle CB.

Kane337

August 30th, 2011
12:23 pm

Gurode is visiting Seattle today.

jerseyfalcon

August 30th, 2011
12:25 pm

why hasn’t Kelvin Hayden, from the colts, been picked up? Or has he already? I hope they don’t sign Gurode because its a waste of money and roster spot to fill in for a week or two…

willieg hates the eagles

August 30th, 2011
12:37 pm

this team will not win 9games this year i guarantee that the defense is AWFUL.

Rikus

August 30th, 2011
12:46 pm

I like this move, if we can get Sanders on the cheap. He would fill the gap left by Erik Coleman’s release earlier this year.

Chandler going Deep...

August 30th, 2011
1:39 pm

Cutler in game one and #7 in game two will feast on this secondary..

0-2 start not looking good..

hbcuclassics

August 30th, 2011
2:16 pm

HBCU Classics
2011 Pre-season
All-Americans

Offense

QB Stan Jennings, Albany
RB Marcus Wright, Tx South
RB Nic Cooper, WSSU
RB Mike Mayhew, NC A&T
WR Justin Wilson, Del St
WR Marcellos Wilder, Jackson
TE Tony Davis, FVSU
OL Terren Jones, Ala St
OL Sanford Banks, Grambling
OL Kendall Noble, Norfolk
OL Natiel Curry, Bethune
OL Alex Monroe, Bethune
P Ronnie Partridge, Stillman

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 30th, 2011
3:10 pm

HbucClassics (TY) — If you’re going to post at least slip one Howard guy on the team for me!!! C’mon Man! The Flea is going to turn it around in D.C. You watch!

Fan

August 30th, 2011
4:07 pm

DeCoud will be on the bench after Sander’s learn the scheme . I think he is just filling a spot without much effort DeCoud. He make too many mistakes. Atlanta will also get that CB on the WIRE so just leave TD alone and let him do his magic

Fan

August 30th, 2011
4:10 pm

Chandler going Deep WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT—– ???THE BEARS HAVE NOT BEATEN ATLANTA IN YEARS SO LEAVE THAT COMMENT IN THE TRASH CAN AND THEY WANT THIS YEAR EITHER…

Howardalum

August 30th, 2011
4:25 pm

My thoughts were that a Howard Player would be on the Defense and when I went to the website the first defensive player was from Howard. We look forward to flea developing some Offensive Guys !

Doesn't look good yet

August 30th, 2011
5:17 pm

Sharper and Sanders sound like affordable, hard working veterans who would provide depth leadership, and would come at a low price…sounds good to me too.

Doesn't look good yet

August 30th, 2011
5:18 pm

antman

August 30th, 2011
5:18 pm

W’ll get pass the bears with what we have, will be drilled by phil.then TD will hear us and find a corner.

tidog

August 30th, 2011
6:50 pm

Grimes was making ball play on perfectfully thrown balls on TD’s that beat him. I ain’t mad at him, he’ll make those plays more often than not. DeCoud was over the top and in position to make the TD saving tackle but played the wrong angle after the catch. That type of stuff can easily be ironed out.

[...] read from original news source: James Sanders set to visit the Falcons | Atlanta Falcons [...]

Mike is back

August 30th, 2011
8:07 pm

Good move, now go get a corner please.

kevin

August 30th, 2011
8:13 pm

We need to get james sanders and sharper of gurode so we need a good cb db

Spot on Dtan

August 30th, 2011
8:30 pm

Kelvin Hayden+ James Sanders would be ideal.

Too bad we have “Dummytroff” as our GM…

The Falconer

August 31st, 2011
2:27 am

Glad to hear that we’re still trying to get better and add depth! Decoud and Moore will be good, but they’re still fairly new to the league. Moore is a hard hitter, and Decoud seems to be (mostly) in position to make an impact on pass plays, although he struggles a bit with formidable tight ends.

Can Sanders play nickel is what I want to know, or could we shift Decoud to that position if necessary on 3rd downs? He’s got a lot of hustle, but is a little inexperienced. I don’t know a lot about this guy Sanders- did he ever start at FS or SS for NE over the last four years?

Brent Grimes is great, but he needs to watch out for falling into the trap of DeAngelo Hall, that is, don’t try to make big plays if there’s no coverage over the top. Just defend the friggin pass plays!!! The Pitt game showed him at least once trying too hard to grab that int rather than dismantle the play. Number 5 in the league last year in scoring defense is great- just make sure not to give up big plays to create stats… We’ve shown flashes of what we can be- now PUT THE TEAM ON YOUR BACK, DO!!!

ATLol

August 31st, 2011
6:29 am

Falconer – Sanders will come in on some nickel packges to replace Moore, but he will not be the nickelback.

DOL – Are the Falcons concerned about DeCoud? He seemed to stall last year after a good 2009 season.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 31st, 2011
7:38 am

ATLol — We are talking to TD at 10 a.m. We’ll aske him about Sanders’ role.

Hardy Falcon

August 31st, 2011
7:38 am

One again, we sign another HAS BEEN PLAYER TO GO ON OUR HAS BEEN DEFENSE.Most everyone on defense is a has been from another team or a nobody, our offense will not carry our defense.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 31st, 2011
7:46 am

The Falconer — TD told us that Sanders does not play nickel. They have him as a SS mostly, with some FS.

D-Bird

August 31st, 2011
8:19 am

Decoud has not been the man this year. Lets move forward as a organization and start sanders this year.

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