Linebacker Lorenzo Carter to sign one-year deal with Atlanta Falcons, source confirms

Pass-rusher Lorenzo Carter is headed to the Atlanta Falcons.

A day after saying goodbye on social media to New York Giants fans, a source confirmed to ESPN's Michael Rothstein on Monday that the linebacker is signing a one-year contract with the Falcons.

In Carter, Atlanta adds a much-needed pass-rusher. The team released Dante Fowler Jr. last month, and Brandon Copeland and Steven Means remain free agents. The Falcons had fewer sacks than any team in the NFL last season.

The franchise needed to rework the edge rusher room this offseason, perhaps more than any other position on the team. Carter gives defensive coordinator Dean Pees at least one experienced edge rusher to work with. Don't be surprised if Atlanta adds more pass-rushing help through the draft and free agency.

Carter, 26, was a third-round pick out of the University of Georgia in the 2018 NFL draft. His career started slowly, and just when it appeared he was due for a breakout season, he tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg in Week 5 of the 2020 season.

It took Carter a while to get going this past season off the injury. He didn't have a sack the first 13 games, but he finished strongly, showing the promise that had the Giants singing his praise the previous year. He had five sacks in the final four weeks and played perhaps the best football of his career.

Carter (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) had 14.5 sacks, 153 tackles and 15 passes defended in four seasons and 49 games on his rookie contract with the Giants.

His five sacks last season were a career high as a professional. He also never topped five sacks in a season at Georgia.

ESPN's Jordan Raanan contributed to this report.