04/19 13:29 CDT Falcons give second chance to Hageman following 2017 release
Falcons give second chance to Hageman following 2017 release
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) --- The Atlanta Falcons signed Ra'Shede Hageman to a
one-year deal on Friday, giving a second chance to the defensive tackle the
team released in 2017 after he was charged with domestic violence.
Hageman, 28, was a second-round pick from Minnesota in 2014. He started a
combined 16 games in 2015 and 2016. He has been out of the league since his
release by the Falcons following an incident with his girlfriend in 2016.
If he makes the roster, Hageman will be suspended for the first two games of
the 2019 season for a violation of the substance abuse policy following a
recent DWI arrest. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press all
teams were informed of the suspension on April 5.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released by the team the
Falcons believe in giving opportunities "when people take responsibility for
their actions and are committed to change."
"We believe Ra'Shede understands that his conduct was wrong and has learned
from his mistakes," Dimitroff said. "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."
Hageman (6-6, 310) had 18 tackles and two sacks in 2016.
He was placed the Commissioner's Exempt List on Sept. 2, 2017 as the NFL
investigated charges filed by DeKalb County prosecutors following the March
2016 incident at the home of his girlfriend, Janeal Jefferies. Hageman faced
charges of battery, cruelty to children and interfering with calls for
He was released by the Falcons two days later.
"Ra'Shede has taken responsibility for his actions and continues to show
genuine remorse as well as an ongoing commitment to getting better," said coach
Dan Quinn in a statement. "He has put in the work necessary for us to give him
Hageman's return comes as the Falcons have sought to solidify the defensive
tackle position. It is seen as one of the team's top needs entering next week's
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