Sean Weatherspoon signs 5-year, $17.5 million contract

00509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach Greg Pires works with first round draft pick rookie linebacker # 56 Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, during day 3 of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010.   Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

00509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach Greg Pires works with first round draft pick rookie linebacker # 56 Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, during day 3 of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons first-round pick Sean Weatherspoon agreed to five year contract on Thursday, the team confirmed.

Weatherspoon, a linebacker  from Missouri,  is set to sign the deal before the team meeting which is scheduled for 7 p.m. He was the 19th player selected in the 2010 NFL draft.

Most of the Falcons pulled up to the amenities building in their luxury cars to check into the living quarters for training camp earlier in the day.

But Weatherspoon was not one of them because the team and his agent were still hammering out his contract.

With Weatherspoon in the fold, the Falcons have all of their rookies signed and will have all 80 players when they hit field for their first practice Friday morning.

Earlier in the week, Falcons coach Mike Smith said he was optimistic that the Weatherspoon deal would get done

Elwanda Weatherspoon and her son, Sean, the Falcons unsigned first round draft pick. (Brant Sutherlin/AJC)

Elwanda Weatherspoon and her son, Sean, the Falcons unsigned first round draft pick. (Brant Sutherlin/AJC)

before camp opened.

Progress was made during the negotiations on Wednesday and with a big push Thursday morning, Weatherspoon’s deal was completed.

“There hasn’t really been a lot of action throughout the first and second rounds,”  Smith said. “But of course, the closer that you get to the reporting date, you’ll start to see more and more guys sign.”

Under the current regime, three of the four first round picks have been signed in time for the opening of training camp.

With the owners’ meeting in town, the Falcons signed Matt Ryan in May of 2008, months before training camp opened.

Last year, Peria Jerry was signed on the Thursday just before the start of camp on Saturday.

However, in 2008, Sam Baker’s first-round deal hit a last minute snag. He agreed to a contract late Friday night, but the contract was not approved by the league in time for Baker to start practice early Saturday.

Baker had to go upstairs and wait in an office until his contract was approved.

Baker joined the team one hour and 12 minutes after the first practice started. He was selected with the 21st pick, two picks behind where Weatherspoon was selected.

Over the offseason, the Falcons trained Weatherspoon at both outside linebacker positions. He will be expected to compete for a starting position.

“When you start to add the talent level and skill set of a first round draft pick to the linebacker corps, that position is going to be very, very competitive,” Smith said. “I think Sean can play all three, but right now we have basically spent our time training Sean at our outside linebacker position.”

Smith said the team will no longer make a distinction between the strongside or weakside linebacker position. Last season, Mike Peterson started at the weakside position and Stephen Nicholas started at the strongside position.

Peterson turned 34 in June, but played for Smith in Jacksonville. Nicholas was a first-time starter last season, but was drafted as a weakside linebacker by the previous regime.

“Is he a (strongside) or (weakside)?” Smith said. “He’s an outside linebacker. By cross training him and giving him that workload in (the offseason) is going to be beneficial because you’ve got to be able to do the same techniques if you are (strongside) linebacker or (weakside). I think more and more you’re seeing more team developing their outside linebackers to be able t play multiple spots.”

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137 comments Add your comment

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:19 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 29th, 2010
4:27 pm

truth — Way to be FIRST!

Mrs. Tazzee

July 29th, 2010
4:28 pm

Will

July 29th, 2010
4:29 pm

RGO67

July 29th, 2010
4:33 pm

Let’s get started!!!

Rise Up !

July 29th, 2010
4:34 pm

OOOOHHH-OOOH-OOOHH

RiSe Up !

Burdell

July 29th, 2010
4:35 pm

Nice! Get to camp Spoon!

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:36 pm

Dled, been waiting all day for this news. By the way, good job on keeping the fans informed throughout the spring and summer. Thanks.

falcon4ever

July 29th, 2010
4:38 pm

I truly feel and have been told that the Spoon is going to try really hard this year. I’m really hyped about trying to get him signed . Hopefully our players will try to do super good at training camp. I have a good source that says everyone is going to try really hard for a playoff berth this tear…GO TEAM!!!!!!

Falcon Devil

July 29th, 2010
4:38 pm

Spooooooooooooon!!! Can’t wait to see his first NFL tackle!

falcon4ever

July 29th, 2010
4:40 pm

Sorry – i meant year

getbuzzed

July 29th, 2010
4:40 pm

man, tomorrow is like Christmas! it is finally here…….

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

Falcon Devil…..hopefully on that first tackle the announcer won’t say, WOW THAT GUY JUST GOT SPOONED!!!

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

sorry……that was really bad.

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

well well… the start of a bad season !

You should have picked up T.O. – the league is on to boy wonder – you thought last
year was bad for Mr. QB – just wait.

Birdword

July 29th, 2010
4:42 pm

or his first pick. thanks d.o.l.

HugoStiglitz

July 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

Nice. Im glad he wont miss any training camp. This guy could give us a huge boost.

O G Falcon Fan

July 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

The Last time the Birds went to the SB in 98 I was out of work. I am out of work again now. The Stars are aligned

El Oko

July 29th, 2010
4:45 pm

No excuses this year Matty boy!!

Falcone

July 29th, 2010
4:45 pm

ModdyD

July 29th, 2010
4:47 pm

Colts Fan=Troll
Go Falcons!

falcon4ever

July 29th, 2010
4:47 pm

O G Falcon Fan- Don’t go to far with that buddy. We also got our behinds handed to us by the Broncos. We’re really going to have to try harded than that!

Barton

July 29th, 2010
4:49 pm

ESPN the Ocho reports that with the addition of Sean Weatherspoon to the linebacking core, Deon Sanders will be the first cut from training camp. A source, who asked to remain anonymous due to his shame of being cut first, said the cut came as a surprise to him. Sanders reportedly looked good during practice, bringing down every ball carrier that ran him over. GM Thomas Dimitroff, however, said that at the end of the day “Sanders’ contract with the Miami Heat was just too big of a distraction for the rest of the players who all tried out to play with the new Big Three.” It appears jealousy could be a major divider in the locker room this year as the Falcons look poised to make an NFC Championship bid this season.

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:51 pm

O G, just wait right before kick-off and then get a job and that should balance everything out. WIN!!!

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:53 pm

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
4:55 pm

ModdyD…

Colts = Wins ….

another 9-7 for the falcons such a winning fanchise. !

call me @ 777-9311 and I give you come fan tips… start with some TUMS !

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:57 pm

Exactly how long did it take for Peyton to get to the superbowl?

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:57 pm

And who did they play when they got there? Has Peyton been back since?

truth

July 29th, 2010
4:58 pm

waiting…………

[...] Atlanta Falcons are set to have a distraction-free training camp now that they’ve signed their last remaining holdout to a five-year contract. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution tweeted the news [...]

LJ

July 29th, 2010
5:00 pm

Finally, now Alanfalcon and Kenneth Noisemaker can shut up

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
5:01 pm

go to the trailer and sit on the crate and look at last year superbowl

Falcons 4 Ever

July 29th, 2010
5:02 pm

I’m enjoying a nice endorphine rush right now. Bring the fork and knife ‘cuz we got our Spoon. I’ll second truth; awesome job DLED, looking forward to your 5 year 8 figure contract.

Not Good!

July 29th, 2010
5:02 pm

I HOPE I am wrong about this pick, but I just dont see this guy as a first rounder.

waynester

July 29th, 2010
5:02 pm

Welcome news, but not so surprising. All parties involved wanted it done. Can’t wait!

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
5:03 pm

Wow… the new Falcons have finally had back to back winning seasons… Carolina, Tampa, and New Orleans all have had those for years .

Welcome to the real NFL….

mountain_jim

July 29th, 2010
5:04 pm

Finally football is back!

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
5:04 pm

Truth… did the trailor flip over ?

PMC

July 29th, 2010
5:04 pm

Best news ALL DAY!! Welcome SPOON.

Peyton Manning

July 29th, 2010
5:05 pm

Wow!! My Matt Ryan jersey came in today!

John Koncack

July 29th, 2010
5:06 pm

Really, $120 million for Joe Johnson? Well they did pay me $13 million….

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
5:07 pm

Peyton Manning…. yeah he needed another rag to wipe off his MVP trophy.

truth

July 29th, 2010
5:08 pm

colts fan……..you aint bothering me. My team is on the rise. Your team is getting older and on a downward spiral.

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
5:09 pm

really… we are getting old but younger also. We know how to draft – check us out

http://www.thePeoplesLink.com

truth

July 29th, 2010
5:11 pm

BWAA HA HA!!!!! Why are you so pissed about the Falcons colt fan? Who are you really?

colts fan

July 29th, 2010
5:12 pm

I’m not going to rain on the Falcons parade… I know you guys are happy !

back to back winning seasons is a big accomplishment – we see you at the super bowl

free drinks on me at Stats

Hot Bird

July 29th, 2010
5:12 pm

Our Spoon is going to dish out some t.d.’s to your P. Manning this year.

jc

July 29th, 2010
5:12 pm

Any news on some non-roster guys looking to make a splash at camp?

RUDE DOGG

July 29th, 2010
5:13 pm

Let’s get the pads on BABY!

Just Sayin

July 29th, 2010
5:14 pm

colts fan get a life. Colts are a great team. This is a Falcons Blog and the Falcons are on the rise! Blow Me!