Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons agree to one-year deal with Arenas

The Falcons agreed to a one-year deal with returner/nickel back Javier Arenas on Tuesday, his Atlanta-based agent Hadley Engelhard told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The team announced the deal later.

Arenas, a former star at Alabama, was drafted in the second-round (50th overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010 draft. Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli was Kansas City’s general manager at the time.

Arenas, 26, who played three seasons with the Chiefs was with Arizona last season. He’s played in 63 games and has made 12 starts.

Arenas has 106 career NFL punt returns for 1,029 yards (9.7 per return) and 74 kickoff returns for 1,568 yards (21.2 yards per return).

With the Falcons looking to spruce up their return game, they also met with former Chicago Bears returner Devin Hester on Tuesday and with Trindon Holliday over the weekend. Holliday went on to sign a one-year contract with the New York Giants.

Hester, 31, who played at the University of Miami, had expressed a desire to play for the Miami Dolphins.

Hester led the league in kickoff return yardage last season and was used in a limited role as a punt returner.

Jacquizz Rodgers handled the kickoff return duties last season and Robert McClain was the main punt returner. The Falcons finished 10th in kickoff-return average (24.4 yards) and 20th in punts (8.2 yards) in 2013.

The dangerous Hester has returned 13 punts and five kickoffs for touchdowns over his career.

Holliday, a three-year veteran speedster, has two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns.

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.