New Atlanta Falcons safety Dean Marlowe spent parts of four seasons with the Buffalo Bills from 2017-20, making Saturday's shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 people hit closer to home.
Dean Marlowe (right)
According to Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson, the Falcons signed Marlowe to a contract worth $1.187 million for the 2022 season.
Marlowe, who turns 30 in July, is entering his seventh year in the NFL with four teams and third in three years. He started his career in 2015 as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers, but played seldomly on special teams in his first two years in the league.
He found a home in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills, spending time there from 2018-20. In 2020, he played in all but one game for the Bills, and recorded the first two interceptions of his career to go with 1.5 sacks and 22 tackles.
And of course, that "home'' is why Marlowe joins the many who feel the pain of Buffalo.
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Marlowe's career marches on. Looking back, his work in Buffalo led to a new contract with the Detroit Lions in 2021, where he saw a significant increase in playing time. Marlowe played in all but one game for the Lions, making nine starts and recording a career-high 67 tackles.
According to Pro Football Focus, Marlowe allowed just 172 receiving yards last season, ranking 10th-lowest in the NFL.
In Atlanta, Marlowe is set to join second-year pro Richie Grant, who was drafted 35th overall by the Falcons in 2021, and Erik Harris, another veteran who re-signed with the team earlier in the offseason.
It's uncertain how much Marlowe will factor into the Falcons secondary, but if he continues this upward trajectory from the past two years, he's headed for a good amount of playing time in Atlanta. In the meantime, he and the rest of us are thinking about more than football on this tragic day.