Falcons Sign Former 1st Round Pick Deone Bucannon

Deone Bucannon with the New York Giants in December. Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Linebacker Deone Bucannon is returning to NFC South in another attempt to resurrect his once-promising career.  Bucannon, who was a first-round pick in 2014, inked a one-year deal to play with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020.

Bucannon split the last season between Falcons’ division rivals Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. He combined for 28 tackles.

Falcons confirmed the deal on their official social media.

Bringing Bucannon seems like a low risk, high reward move from Falcons. The 27-year-old provides reliable depth on a challenging position for the team, which itself represents a big deal while he might rediscover some of his early form with a change of scenery. The deal is reportedly team-friendly, so Atlanta won’t hurt much if this doesn’t work out, and they have to release him. 

Deone Bucannon was drafted into the league by Arizona Cardinals and showed real promise early in his career. After playing strong safety in his rookie campaign and making the PFWA All-Rookie Team, Bucannon switched to linebacker in his sophomore season without missing a step. He filled the stats sheet, even more, finishing 2015 with 112 tackles, 3.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception, and one touchdown.

Bucannon, however, didn’t manage to build on these performances as his production dipped in following seasons due to ankle injury. Cardinals eventually decided to move on from him after his rookie contract expired in 2019.