Falcons sign guard Fusco to three-year, $12.75 million deal

Brandon Fusco (63) signed a three-year contract with the Falcons Wednesday.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Credit: Sean M. Haffey

Credit: Sean M. Haffey

Brandon Fusco (63) signed a three-year contract with the Falcons Wednesday. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Falcons agreed to terms with veteran guard Brandon Fusco to a three-year, $12.75 million contract Wednesday on the opening day of the NFL’s new business year.

Fusco, who will turn 30 on July 26, has started 80 of 83 games he’s played for the Vikings and 49ers. He started all 16 games at right guard for the 49ers last season.

Fusco was drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of Slippery Rock.

Fusco, who’s 6-foot-4 and 302 pounds, gives the Falcons a veteran who has played some left guard.

Fusco was a salary cap casualty with the Vikings after the 2016 season. He did not return to form that season in a move back to the right side after a disappointing year at left guard in 2015.

He had three years left on a five-year extension with none of his remaining salary guaranteed when released. He signed on with the 49ers for 2017.

He’d earned an extension after the final year of his rookie deal, but wasn’t able to regain his form after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.

Fusco missed two games in 2016 after suffering a concussion.

Fusco could push right guard Wes Schweitzer, who had an uneven first season as a starter. Also, starting left guard Andy Levitre is coming back from an torn triceps muscle.

Ben Garland, who received a second-round tender, backs up Schweitzer and Levitre. Converted guard Sean Harlow, who was drafted in the fourth round last season, was inactive for all 16 games.

“I believe Andy is going to be back and be ready to play next year,” general  manager Thomas Dimitroff said at the NFL scouting combine. “That’s important for us. We also know there is opportunities potentially in free agency as well as in the draft to acquire (a player) at that position.”

The Falcons know the need to firm the interior of the passing pocket for quarterback Matt Ryan. Although the line only gave up 24 sacks last season, Ryan had to throw  quickly at times and run too often.

“We are never going to lose sight of always working on (our) depth (and) the depth for the future at that position,” Dimitroff said.