The Falcons had an open roster spot after they placed defensive tackle Peria Jerry on the Exempt/Left Team list. They filled the spot with a player with a local tie.
To replace Jerry, the Falcons announced Friday that they signed defensive tackle Theo Agnew, a former Georgia State Panther.
Jerry, the former first-round draft pick, announced his retirement Thursday.
Agnew, 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, participated in the Falcons' rookie minicamp as a tryout player this spring. He was a two-year letterman and starter on the defensive line at Georgia State in 2012 and 2013 after transferring from Massachusetts.
Agnew posted 124 tackles during his career at GSU and ranks second in program history with 14.5 tackles for loss. A native of Windsor, Conn., he recorded 66 tackles with four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 22 games at UMass in 2010 and 2011.
Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox was asked Friday how Jerry’s departure will affect the unit.
“At the end of the day I look at it like this,” Cox said. “I can’t begrudge a guy for following his heart an ultimately he decided to leave. I wish him nothing but the best. I want the best for him and his life. But I owe it to the guys here to coach them to be in a position where all of my energy goes toward those guys. That is what we are going to try to do. At the end of the day, it’s a next man up mentality.”