Falcons sign ex-Bears NT Eddie Goldman to 1-year deal

The 2015 second-round draft pick was one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL in his first five seasons. But a downturn in production and the transition to a 4-3 defense under Matt Eberflus made him expendable to new GM Ryan Poles.

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Eddie Goldman had 175 tackles, 13 sacks and 18 tackles-for-loss in his six seasons with the Bears.

Eddie Goldman (91) started 74 of 82 games he played for the Bears since being drafted in the second round in 2015.

Amr Alfiky, AP Photos

Former Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman has signed a one-year contract with the Falcons to try to re-start his once-promising NFL career.

The move reunites him with former Bears general manager Ryan Pace, who was hired by the Falcons as a senior personnel executive after being fired by the Bears in January. Pace drafted Goldman in the second round of his first draft with the Bears in 2015.

Goldman, 28, played six seasons with the Bears and was an immediate contributor and one of the most valuable anchor pieces in the rise of the Bears defense under coordinator Vic Fangio — including the stellar 2018 unit that led the NFL in scoring defense (17.7 points), yards per play (4.8) and takeaways (36). Though generally overlooked for league-wide honors, Goldman was considered one of the top run-stoppers in the NFL and was a Pro Bowl alternate at 25 in 2019.

But his career stalled after he opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns about the coronavirus. He returned last season, but did not have the same impact in an uneven-at-best season. He still started 10 of 14 games, but he ended up splitting time with seventh-round rookie Khyiris Tonga — who was getting the majority of the nose-tackle snaps by the end of the season.

With a downturn in his production and a transition to a 4-3 defense under new head coach Matt Eberflus, Goldman was cut in March prior to free agency. He finished his Bears career with 175 tackles, 13 sacks, 18 tackles-for-loss and 21 quarterback hits in 81 games (73 starts) over six seasons.

The Falcons switched to a 3-4 alignment in 2021 under coordinator Dean Pees after playing a 4-3 under Dan Quinn.

Goldman is one of seven former Bears acquired by Pace to sign with the Falcons since Pace was hired there — joining linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, wide receiver Damiere Byrd, running back Damien Williams, cornerback Teez Tabor and offensive linemen Germain Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson.

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