Center Todd McClure agreed to a one-year contact with the Falcons on Tuesday.
McClure, who turned 35 in February, had his team-record streak of 144 consecutive starts snapped last season. He broke the franchise record for consecutive games during the 2010 season, surpassing Keith Brooking’s mark of 128 (2000-08).
The Falcons drafted Joe Hawley as his heir apparent in 2010. He started 12 games last season and played in all 17 games. He filled in for McClure when he was out after a knee surgery. Hawley finished the season as the starter at right guard.
With the signing of guard Vince Manuwai, Hawley and McClure will likely compete for the starting center position.
Near the end of the season, quarterback Matt Ryan credited McClure for much of his early success.
“For me, personally, he’s been huge in my development,” Ryan said. “He carried me the first two years in terms of pass protection and getting things set in the run game. He took a lot off my plate.”
Before the signing of McClure the Falcons had $2.021 million under the salary cap. Last season he made a base salary of $1.7 million.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog