Dante Fowler has a new football home: the Atlanta Falcons. He’ll be reuniting with a coach that he’s very familiar with.
Head coach Dan Quinn survived the firing block after Atlanta’s strong finish to the season. He has been the Falcons’ head coach since 2015. Before that, he spent two very successful years under Pete Carroll as the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. For the two years prior to that, he held the same role with the 2011-12 Florida Gators.
Fowler and Quinn overlapped a bit in Gainesville. He played three seasons for the Gators before jumping to the 2015 NFL Draft. The former No. 3 pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars never fully realized his potential with his first team, but really peaked this past season after being traded to the Los Angeles Rams during 2018. He had 11.5 sacks for the team this fall.
Now, the two will be reunited. If Fowler can keep building on his 2019 season with Atlanta, it will be a huge boon to that defense. With Tom Brady joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Teddy Bridgewater making the move to Carolina, the NFC South now has one of the most interesting groups of quarterbacks in the NFL. Drew Brees has also re-signed with the New Orleans Saints.
#Rams free agent pass-rusher Dante Fowler is expected to sign with the #Falcons, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. A high-end pass-rusher lands in Atlanta. Coach Dan Quinn actually coached Fowler while at Florida.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020
The Atlanta Falcons really struggled to produce a pass-rush last season. Getting to accurate but aging passers like Brady and Brees will be key, and Fowler could be a huge weapon there.
Meanwhile, it is a major loss for the Rams, who also lost Pro Bowl linebacker Cory Littleton this week. The 2018-19 NFC Champions have a lot of work to do.