2019 NFL Free Agency: Former Falcons CB, special teamer Justin Bethel headed to Ravens

The Falcons will need to fill Bethel’s gap on the roster.

The Atlanta Falcons will bid farewell to 2018’s core special teamer and a depth cornerback.

Pro Bowl special teams alternate Justin Bethel will look to join the Baltimore Ravens after a year in Flowery Branch.

Bethel had 14 tackles in 14 games for the Falcons and helped mentor 2018 rookie and young special teams contributor Russell Gage, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

McClure notes that Bethel had his 100th special teams tackle with the Falcons, a sterling accomplishment for one of the decade’s better special teams aces.

The team might not find quite as good a special teams player as Bethel, though they can fill his depth role in the secondary with a free agent or in the draft.

Gage will definitely be taking more of a primary role on special teams with Bethel’s departure, and we imagine new STs coach Ben Kotwica will have a new guy or two in mind with veterans available or with guys in the draft to continue bolstering that unit.

The team signed veteran returner and running back Kenjon Barner Thursday, who, according to McClure, appears to have a good shot at winning that kick and punt returner job.

We wish Bethel all the best in Baltimore, and thank him for his season with the team. We’ll see how Kotwica revamps this group this fall.

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