Hageman, banned for 2 games, rejoins Atlanta

Vaughn McClure
ESPN Staff Writer

The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed former 2014 second-round draft pick Ra’Shede Hageman, whom they released in 2017 following domestic violence charges, to a one-year contract.

Hageman, who served a six-game suspension as a result of those March 2016 charges, now faces a two-game ban at the start of the 2019 season for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Hageman was arrested for driving while impaired last June.

The Falcons and the 31 other teams were notified of Hageman’s suspension on April 5, according to an NFL official. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn said the team was willing to give another chance to the 28-year-old Hageman.

FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, right, is hit by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman during the second half of an NFL football game in Los Angeles. The Falcons have signed Hageman, giving a second chance to the defensive tackle the team released in 2017 after he was charged with domestic violence. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

“As an organization we believe in opportunities when people take responsibility for their actions and are committed to change,” Dimitroff said in a statement. “We believe Ra’Shede understands that his conduct was wrong and has learned from his mistakes. He has met the obligations of the court in his prior matters and worked hard over the last two years, including community service, intensive course work and rehab.

“That said, we understand the seriousness of his actions, and he knows we will not tolerate abusive behavior in any form.”

Quinn also supported the decision to give Hageman another chance.

“Ra’Shede has taken responsibility for his actions and continues to show genuine remorse as well as an ongoing commitment to getting better,” Quinn said. “He has put in the work necessary for us to give him another opportunity.”

Hageman, last listed at 6-6 and 318 pounds, could provide much-needed depth to the interior of the defensive line, provided he makes the roster. The Falcons already added a potential starter at defensive tackle next to star Grady Jarrett with the signing of Tyeler Davison to a one-year deal. The other interior defensive linemen include Jack Crawford and Deadrin Senat.

Hageman started 16 of 44 games during his first stint with the Falcons and compiled four sacks to go with 21 tackles. He was known more for his strength and ability to push offensive linemen around.

It’s unclear if Hageman’s signing will sway which direction the Falcons go if they keep the 14th overall pick in the draft. Offensive and defensive tackle are believed to be two of the top draft priorities for the team.

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