Falcons sign Grossman to compete for backup quarterback job

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Rex Grossman believes he has a couple more seasons left in him.

After signing the 35-year-old backup quarterback to a one-year deal on Wednesday, the Atlanta Falcons seem to agree.

Grossman, who hasn't thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2011, is trying to beat out T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree for the primary reserve role behind three-time Pro Bowl selection Matt Ryan.

''You never know (other teams') intentions or what they think of you, but I know I can still play,'' Grossman said. ''I'm a competitor, so I was frustrated, but I got my chance and I'm ready to roll with it. It's rejuvenating. I'm excited.''

Grossman played under first-year Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in Houston and Washington from 2008-13. In Shanahan's lone season as coordinator in Cleveland last year, Grossman was released at the end of training camp.

''I feel like I've got a good sense of what he expects in a quarterback running his offense and what it's supposed to look like,'' Grossman said.

Grossman went 13-3 as Chicago's starting QB in 2006 as the Bears reached the Super Bowl. In other seasons he's combined to win 12 of 31 starts with the Bears and Redskins.

He arrives in Atlanta after Yates and Renfree struggled in preseason appearances the last two weeks against Tennessee and the New York Jets.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said Grossman won't play in Saturday's exhibition at Miami. The team plans to get him ready for the Sept. 3 preseason finale against Baltimore at the Georgia Dome.

''He's got a naturally quick release,'' Quinn said. ''That was the first thing that jumped out to me. We had him go through routes and make all the throws. That's the part we really wanted to look at and why we decided to add him to the group.''

Quinn added that the Falcons plan to keep only two QBs active on game days. Both Yates and Renfree spent last season on the 53-man roster. Yates, last year's No. 2, played in three games. Renfree wasn't on the active roster on game days.

The Falcons, who first contracted Grossman on Monday night, decided to offer a non-guaranteed contract after he worked out at team headquarters on Tuesday.

Notes: Ryan has proved durable the last few years, ranking fifth among active quarterbacks with 83 consecutive regular-season starts. ... DT Ra'Shede Hageman returned to practice after sustaining concussion symptoms last week. ... The Falcons waived injured RB Evan Royster to make room for Grossman on the roster. ... Quinn hasn't ruled out RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, each of whom has missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury, for the Miami game. ... WR Roddy White (elbow), RB Antone Smith (hamstring) and SS William Moore (calf) will be held out.

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AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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