Thursday May 6th, 2021 11:53AM

Safety Harmon, return specialist Patterson sign with Falcons

By The Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Atlanta Falcons have signed safety Duron Harmon and four-time All-Pro return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson to one-year contracts.

Harmon started all 16 games for Detroit in 2020 and set a career high with 73 tackles. He helps to address a glaring void on the Falcons’ depth chart after the team lost Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee and Sharrod Neasman to free agency.

The Falcons also have added safety Erik Harris in free agency.

Atlanta released running back Ito Smith in another roster move Thursday. Smith rushed for 268 yards and one touchdown last season. He had 17 catches for 75 yards.

Smith was a fourth-round draft pick by the Falcons in 2018.

Harmon has 19 interceptions and has started 45 games in eight NFL seasons, including seven with New England. He was a third-round pick by New England in 2013.

Patterson earned first-team All-Pro honors as a kick returner in 2013, 2016 and 2019-20 with Minnesota and Chicago. He led the NFC with his average of 29.1 yards per kick return for the Bears last season. Patterson leads the NFL with eight kickoff return touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2013.

Patterson has played at wide receiver and running back. He has 216 receptions for 2,087 yards and 10 touchdowns, and 167 carries for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns in his career.

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Safety Harmon, return specialist Patterson sign with Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons have signed safety Duron Harmon and four-time All-Pro return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson to one-year contracts.
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