FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — 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.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh re-signed veteran inside linebacker Vince Williams to a one-year deal on Thursday, a month after they cut him in a cost-cutting measure. Financial terms were not disclosed but the salary comes at a significant discount against what Williams was scheduled to make in 2021 before being released in March.

Williams, 31, played 121 games with the Steelers after making the team as a sixth-round draft pick in 2013. He served as an understudy to Lawrence Timmons, then took over the starting job in 2017. Williams had 479 tackles and 20 1/2 sacks during his eight seasons with the Steelers and formed a close bond with Ryan Shazier.

His return alleviates depth concerns the Steelers had at inside linebacker. Devin Bush’s comeback from a torn ACL that cut short his 2020 season is on track, and Rob Spillane, who replaced Bush after the injury, signed his exclusive rights free agent contract last month.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle is signing former All-Pro defensive end Aldon Smith, according to a report, to sign a one-year deal after he visited the team on Wednesday.

Smith, 31, played for the Dallas Cowboys last season where he posted 48 total tackles, five sacks, five tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown while starting in all 16 games.

Despite the solid year, the Cowboys opted not to re-sign him for the 2021 season. Smith played in 2020 after sitting out the previous four seasons due to league-imposed suspensions and off-field issues. Smith had signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys worth up to $4 million in 2020.

The Seahawks tried to trade for Smith last season, but wasn’t able to complete a deal for the former first round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL draft. The Seahawks hope Smith can regain some of the form that led to him posting 42 sacks during his first three seasons in the NFL.

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