"We are excited about adding these guys to our team," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "We believe that they all possess skill sets that fit our schemes and will be pieces to what we are putting together. This is just the first step in putting our roster together, and I am fired up about getting to connect and work with all of our guys come April 6."
The 6-foot-3-inch, 254-pound Reed headlined the deals, coming over from the Houston Texans on a five-year contract, his agent confirmed. The deal reportedly is worth $22 million. Reed, a former second-round pick, is known as a strong run defender who is capable of contributing to the pass rush as an outside linebacker.
Durant (6-1, 230), a former second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, played for the Dallas Cowboys last season but was placed on injury reserve with biceps injury after six games. When healthy, he's a versatile linebacker capable of filling the void left by Sean Weatherspoon, who is headed to Arizona.
"We feel that these signings fit the schemes that Dan and his staff are implementing here," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "We knew that we needed to add some players through free agency and we think we have gotten off to a solid start this evening."
The Falcons knew what they had all along in Smith, who had four touchdowns of 40-plus yards last season before going on IR with a broken leg. He is a great complement to Devonta Freeman to run behind offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's outside zone-blocking scheme that emphasizes the one-cut-and-go mentality. The Falcons already cut ties with veteran Steven Jackson, who was not a good fit.
Person (6-4, 300) is former seventh-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers. He also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, where both Quinn and new Falcons offensive line coach Chris Morgan used to be. The Falcons needed some more depth at guard after parting ways with veteran Justin Blalock.
Not everything went the Falcons' way at the start of free agency. Lance Kendricks, a tight end the team targeted, re-signed with the St. Louis Rams while linebacker target Malcolm Smith ended up with the Oakland Raiders.
The Falcons still need to add more to the pass rush outside the possibility of Reed's contribution. They reportedly will host former Tennessee Titans edge-rusher Derrick Morgan in the next few days. And the Falcons are believed to be in good position to land former Seahawk O'Brien Schofield, a rusher who played under Quinn in Seattle.