Re-signing Courtney Upshaw important for Falcons' line depth

Courtney Upshaw has six sacks in five NFL seasons. Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons and defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw agreed to a contract extension, a day after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported a two-year, $9 million deal for quarterback Matt Schaub to remain as Matt Ryan's backup.

Terms: Not disclosed.

Grade: C-plus. Re-signing Upshaw is not a major move by any means, but it could be helpful. Upshaw joined the Falcons last year on a one-year, $1.25 million contract after spending his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. During training camp, there was a question if Upshaw would even make the team. However, he got better as the season progressed. He finished the season with a sack, 24 tackles, a tackle for loss, four quarterback hits, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 297 defensive snaps played. Upshaw also sacked Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.

What it means: Having Upshaw on the roster simply means the Falcons have some depth on the defensive line. Upshaw can play on the interior off the line and on the edge, and coach Dan Quinn loves players with such versatility. With the team set to release Tyson Jackson and set to move on from veteran defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, depth is a must. Upshaw won't be a starter, but he'll be able to spell the starter and give the Falcons a fresh body to pressuring opposing quarterbacks and stop the run. Re-signing Upshaw is far from the last move the Falcons will make up front as the defensive line undergoes significant changes.

What’s the risk: There have been questions about Upshaw's weight, as he was listed at 272 pounds last season but was probably a little heavier. The 6-foot-2 Upshaw isn't exactly chiseled, although he's shown some power. As long as his weight doesn't spiral out of control, he should be fine. Upshaw has quickness and carrying a manageable weight should only make him that much quicker off the ball.