Atlanta Falcons defensive back, converted linebacker Kemal Ishmael always has been a team player. His willingness has paid off into a fruitful NFL career and for another pay day.
Ishmael signed a one-year extension with the Falcons. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ishmael, 27, was drafted by the Falcons in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft, following his explosive NFL Regional Combine trial at the Atlanta-held session in 2013. Ishmael was one of the first pioneers from the RC to make an impact in the NFL.
To conform and be an asset in Falcons head coach Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme, Ishmael was willing to be utilized more as a reserve linebacker. Ishmael’s playing time decreased, but his skill set was maximized.
In his six seasons with the Falcons, Ishmael has registered 231 tackles, 13 pass defenses, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown, which was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week Three of the 2014 NFL season.
The Bucs were facing a third-and-10 situation, down 14-0 with 2:47 remaining in the first quarter. Bucs quarterback Josh McCown targeted wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Ishmael jumped the route and leaped over the 6-3 Vincent for the ball and returned the play for a 23-yard touchdown.
Ishmael had his best personal season in 2014 when he posted 97 tackles. Despite playing less, Ishmael has been an important piece for the Falcons defensive success.
With Ishmael re-signing, the Falcons has seven linebackers on their roster.