Falcons re-sign linebacker Mike Peterson

 
 

 

 

Here's Mike Peterson (53) stretching as the Falcons opened their first 2009 minicamp in Flowery Branch.   CURTIS COMPTON / ccompton@ajc.com

Here's Mike Peterson (53) stretching as the Falcons opened their first 2009 minicamp in Flowery Branch. CURTIS COMPTON / ccompton@ajc.com

 

UPDATE — Linebacker Mike Peterson, who played the last three seasons with the Falcons, re-signed with the team Monday.

 

 

Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Peterson, 36, was a starter in 2009 and 2010 before shifting to a reserve role last season. He  received a $50,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $910,000 in 2011. He was not tendered an offer, when his contract expired on March 13.

In 2011, he started five games and played in 15 before going on injured reserve with a torn triceps that required surgery.

He was originally selected as a second round (36th overall) draft choice by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft. Peterson, one of the most-respected players in the locker room, currently has 1,607 career tackles.

The Falcons were thin at linebacker after releasing Matt Hansen and with Lofa Tatupu suffering a serious pectoral injury last Thursday in the weight room.

Tatupu was scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews today. The team has not provided an update on his status.

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In a 37-21 victory in Oct. of 2009, Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking (51) cheers toward the Falcons bench after teammate Patrick Crayton scored a touchdown. The former Falcon had two tackles for the Cowboys. (Vernon Bryant, Dallas Morning News)
In a 37-21 victory in Oct. of 2009, Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking (51) cheers toward the Falcons bench after teammate Patrick Crayton scored a touchdown. The former Falcon had two tackles for the Cowboys. (Vernon Bryant, Dallas Morning News)

BIRDLAND  - With the pectoral injury to Lofa Tatupu and the release of Matt Hansen, the Falcons are back in the linebacker market before the start of training camp on Thursday.

The extent of Tatupu’s injury will be known after a visit to specialist Dr. James Andrews on Monday.

The group of available veteran linebackers includes a couple of familiar names in Mike Peterson and Keith Brooking. Peterson is the logical choice to return, since the present regime elected not to re-sign Brooking

Which veteran linebacker will the Falcons sign?

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after the 2008 season and told him that “this is a young man’s game.”

Brooking’s celebration after the Cowboys beat the Falcons in 2009 would also have to be forgotten for the former first-round pick and Georgia Tech standout to return to Flowery Branch.

Here’s a quick look at some of the prospects:

Mike Peterson, age 36, 6-foot-1, 230-pounds: Played the last three seasons with the Falcons. He was a starter in 2009 and 2010 before shifting to a reserve role last season. He started five games and played in 15 before going on injured reserve with a torn triceps that required surgery. He was originally selected as a second round (36th overall) draft choice by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft. Peterson, one of the most-liked players in the locker room, currently has 1,607 career tackles. Twitter handle: @MikePeterson53

Channing Crowder, 28, 6-2, 247: Last played with the Miami Dolphins during the 2010 season. He

Channing Crowder on Radio Row for Super Bowl XLVI. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Channing Crowder on Radio Row for Super Bowl XLVI. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

played under new Falcons coordinator Mike Nolan for two seasons. He played in 82 NFL games and made 74 starts. On his radio show in Miami he announced his retirement on Friday, according to Florida Sun-Sentinel Dolphins beat writer Omar Kelly. At the Super Bowl, the former North Springs High standout talked about making a comeback with Nolan and the Falcons.

E.J. Henderson, 31, 6-1, 235: He started 107 of 125 games over the past nine seasons for the Vikings. He rebounded from a horrific injury in 2008 and made the Pro Bowl in 2010. He could fit the bill as a two-down run stuffer. Twitter: @56ejhenderson.

Gary Brackett, 32, 5-11, 235: He played in one game last season after starting the previous seven seasons at middle linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. Falcons director of player personnel David Caldwell was with the Colts during part of Brackett’s tenure. Twitter: @GaryBrackett58

Keith Brooking, 36, 6-2, 245: After spending his first 11 seasons with the Falcons, he played the last three seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s a former five-time Pro Bowler and played one season under head coach Mike Smith in 2008.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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141 comments Add your comment

Herschel Talker

July 22nd, 2012
4:05 pm

Keith Brooking is a clown.

If he’s motivated, Channing is the man.

FalconsToTheSuperBowl

July 22nd, 2012
4:07 pm

GARY BRACKETT….no one else.

Day OneFan

July 22nd, 2012
4:15 pm

Channing Crowder would be the obvious choice considering his age and his familiarity w/ DC Nolan.

Well-Endowed Birds Fan

July 22nd, 2012
4:38 pm

Keith Brooking would be a great addition, if he could go the distance like Mike Cox.

bsg3003

July 22nd, 2012
4:38 pm

lol Keith Brooking? Really? after that debacle in the Arizona game and after how he acted when he was with the Cowboys, i’m suprised anyone would even contemplate his return back here.

Peterson is real old so i don’t know about him. He has familiarity with the team so there’s that.

Channing Crowder would be my choice because he’s young and he knows Nolan’s Scheme well.

We really don’t need henderson because akeem dent is supposed to be that type of 2 down backer.

FalconsToTheSuperBowl

July 22nd, 2012
4:39 pm

Signing Mike Peterson doesnt make sense….he plays outside linebacker. We need to sign a middle linebacker. Gary Brackett was the team captain for the Colts and has played in 2 Super Bowls. We should sign him.

mountain_jim

July 22nd, 2012
4:42 pm

We should sign Lofton … oh wait… :(

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
4:44 pm

Oh boy, beggar’s banquet is not just a record label! One of the worst things about this region is the incessant need for vengeance and not forgiving insults! Y’all let little Keith Brooking come home!

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
4:44 pm

@ Ledbetter…
You’re welcome ;-)

Romedawg

July 22nd, 2012
4:46 pm

I hope the Falcons teach Brooking a valuable lesson about burning bridges. He acted like a low class punk and I would rather have anyone else on the list other than him.

Rock Perdoni

July 22nd, 2012
4:47 pm

Brooking is an ass-clown.

DirtyBirdsRiseUp

July 22nd, 2012
4:48 pm

EJ Henderson? The same guy Harry Douglas STIFF ARMED and scored on when we played the Vikings last year? No thanks.

MrShields

July 22nd, 2012
4:49 pm

Bring in Crowder!

Michael M.

July 22nd, 2012
4:53 pm

Crowder probably will be the pick but Brackett should be the logical choice.Brooking needs to go home to Senoia and retire. They ( Falcons Brass) do their own thing so no surprise either if they sign Henderson.

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
4:54 pm

How can you “burn a bridge” that did not exist? Dude, he was released!!! Hit the bricks, kicked to the curve, sent packing, given the one-way ticket…

Rick

July 22nd, 2012
4:55 pm

Please no Brooking! He is a pile jumper! Looks like some good options out there to grab for one year and see if they are motivated to be on a winne. What are you thoughts DLED?

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
5:04 pm

How helping out Ed Hartwell like they did Chris Redman? He could use the alimony money!

Bro

July 22nd, 2012
5:06 pm

There are a lot of linebackers out there. Why spend money on an old guy? Go for a young guy who wants and needs a job. It is time to use the draft picks obtained. If they can’t play, then cut them now.

Larry

July 22nd, 2012
5:16 pm

JSS,

Why do you resent everything Falcon?

Your incessant, unwavering and unending disparagement of anything Falcon sounds like the person served the papers in a bitter divorce.

Prove me wrong: list five things you admire and respect about their owner, their coaches and their players.

ernisTbass

July 22nd, 2012
5:18 pm

Brooking A- doesn’t have enough history of injuries to be considered and B- he would show up late anyway

Larry

July 22nd, 2012
5:25 pm

Whenever in doubt, always go with size, speed and youth.

The Real Falcon

July 22nd, 2012
5:30 pm

Always a Brooking fan. From high school and college but the rant after going to Dallas soured me on him. No way do I want this guy back!

to real

July 22nd, 2012
5:31 pm

Keith brooking get tha hell outta here anybody dat gives up a first down tha way he did in dat playoff game with tha cards back in 08 4th and 13 and you playing tha flats his name should not even be spoke of in atlanta I hate dat fool anit with tha cowboys anymore since we play them dis year cuz we own dat fool a beat down!!!! Crowder is tha best choice cuz his age and he know mike system already its nothing for him to learn goin into camp

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
5:47 pm

Larry…
Why are you directing a comment towards me? Remember last February?

falconfan 24-7

July 22nd, 2012
5:53 pm

No one on the list is worth signing. We need to find someone that will make an immediate impact on the defense like a younger version of Ray Lewis or a Clay Matthews type that Iwill not take plays off.

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
6:00 pm

And I am not answering you…
But I have always…
Commended
Brent Grimes for making himself into a worthy NFL cornerback…
Given Michael Turner for somehow gaining the 3rd most rushing yards in the NFL while playing in a single dimensional offense during his his stay here (and being under-appreciated and demeaned)…
Roddy White reluctant admiration for finally living up to his draft potential by finally working hard…
and gave the now departed Eric Weems and Michael Kornean much admiration for their overachieving work ethic! They should enjoy the money they earned on the open market!

As far the coaching staff, nothing to say… They please the likes of you and make me money in Las Vegas!

As far as for the Stadium chaser on the public dime, Dick Dastardly… Well @#$%& that *@#$ and his hand picked crooks too!

Enjoy, and never darken my portal again!

Paddy

July 22nd, 2012
6:04 pm

Falconfan 24-7 a younger version of Ray Lewis & Clay Matthws you say. You failed to mention the names of these great candidtes out there that are out of a job, waiting on the Falcons to call them LOL

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
6:12 pm

Call the Raiders, they might let you have their jail bird MIKE LB cheap… Oh I forgot, questionable character, never mind!!!

Greg

July 22nd, 2012
6:24 pm

I think falconfan 24-7 speaks the truth. This isn’t about signing the best available player no one else wants. This is about getting an impact player. We don’t have the option of taking a big step down from Lofton. Are we serious or not? Peterson? Please. Brooking. You’ve got to be joking. Crowder is solid against the run, but he’s a big man, and not so fluid dropping back into pass coverage…a scheme the Falcons have been using a lot. Brackett is quicker, and I’ve always liked him, but he’s on the small side, and he’s got some gray in his beard. Would he still be really stout against the run? Has he lost a step or two? I don’t know.

Still laughing at the name "falcons to the SB"

July 22nd, 2012
6:24 pm

You should worry about winning a playoff game first and scoring more than 2 points….fact, you are inferior to the Saints and will never achieve what we have – a SB victory….we will own you this year….your franchise is the laughingstock of the NFL….right there with the Viqueens….who dat, we dat, you ain’t dat….enjoy watching us win our second Lombardi this year, loosahs….must be terrible to be so jealous of the Saints success….

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
6:40 pm

You are only going to get an impact player in the draft or in the active phase of UFAs! This is what happens when squander away money in signing bonuses and long-term contracts! It is also what happens when you don’t take developing players you draft really seriously… Go and look at 2010 Green Bay Packers, they withstood major injuries in their LB core by simply doing just that!

Those black dots on the draft board are coming back to haunt in many different ways!!! Hey what is Odell Thurmann doing these days? Anybody got the number for AA?

5150 UOAD

July 22nd, 2012
6:42 pm

Brooking is to old and DOL just threw that name out to get hits.

Keith was dissed by Falcons but he's too old

July 22nd, 2012
6:49 pm

Keith’s celebration was a bit much, but the Falcons essentially crapped on a great career from a hometown boy in favor of a guy who he had a lot in common with, Mike Peterson. They’ll probably resign Peterson. Our linebackers stink anyway, so they can’t get much worse.

Were it me, I’d try to get EJ Henderson….

rollo lawson

July 22nd, 2012
6:53 pm

Mike Peterson was playing better than Lofton last year we he got into the game. I know for a fact he makes more impact plays than Lofton. His pick 6 would have won the game for us in Houston if not for the bogus illegal contact penalty against Robinson. In addition, Peterson is a great locker room guy. I like his leadership. Could be the perfect mentor to Akeem Dent. I think this could be a blessing in disguise if Dimitroff pulls the trigger and signs Mike.

Chub Rock

July 22nd, 2012
7:00 pm

Did Spoon bounce off Matt Forte last season and Forte ran for a TD? Yes. Does that mean Spoon can’t play the game at a high level? If your answer is no then maybe just maybe the same logic can be applied to the HD/Henderson situation. Name a linebacker that has not missed a tackle? I dare you. Channing Crowder has never been good at anything but running his mouth and he is nothing more than a run stopper just like the rest of these choices. I personally would rather have a guy who went to a Pro Bowl recently, as a backup MLB than a guy(Crowder) who has NEVER excelled in any system whether he knew the scheme or not. I’m not even gonna entertain the notion of Brooking or Brackett since both are washed clean of any real ability to play the game anymore. Henderson came back from a serious knee injury in 2008 or 9 and went to the Pro Bowl in 2010. Henderson is considered the best MLB available in free agency and has lowered his financial expectations. I really like Mike P. as a player and a person but the ride does stop for all. If Henderson is not willing to sign for the vet minimum or very close to it, I would go with Peterson over Crowder. I wonder why Crowder did not play last season? He was not injured. It was because no one wanted his loud mouth in their locker room.

1eyedJack

July 22nd, 2012
7:03 pm

Brooking looks like the stunt man double for Rocky Balboa when he got his face beat in by Apollo Creed.

Chub Rock

July 22nd, 2012
7:10 pm

Paddy- I’m with you or that one. Just where are these young versions of Ray Lewis and Clay Matthews hiding? Walmart? Impact players are not just sitting under a tree somewhere waiting on the Falcons to snatch them up. The choices are right here in front of you.

Mike Franklin

July 22nd, 2012
7:16 pm

Was always a fan of Brooking even though he was a GT product. The celebration in the game mentioned above was a lot hurtful but… this is a business. He can play for the Cuban national swim team if it suits him. This year’s colors for that groups is gold and black, lol.

Larry

July 22nd, 2012
7:23 pm

JSS,

Aside from your obvious disdain for Authur Blank and seemingly, Matt Ryan, are you otherwise an Atlanta Falcon football fan? Do you want this “team” to win or lose?

Sport

July 22nd, 2012
7:25 pm

Why don’t we wait and see if Lofa has spit the bit before talking about possible replacements.

Rev Blake

July 22nd, 2012
7:31 pm

Brooking celebrated a win that he had very little to do with. Plus, he whined like a toddler after the AZ loss. Too immature for a man his age. Take the one who has youth along with experience in Nolan’s scheme.

Joe

July 22nd, 2012
7:49 pm

Give their top performing UFA from Training Camp a shot. Often times your best “diamond in the rough” is right under your nose.

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
7:52 pm

Larry, you are still talking at me? I have said this ad nauseam: I’m a pro football fan… I don’t care who wins on Sunday, Thursday, or on Monday! I had Atlanta Falcons season tickets from May 27, 1982 until January 7, 2007. That is the day Arthur Blank hired Bobby Petrino… I have known pro football players since I was 4 years old… I’ve seen it all…

This team is not built to win playoff football… The coach is not a strategist… The strengths of your offense are not equally distributed to dictate to other teams of equal or greater talent… Until they address what other “real” playoff teams will present them, they will lose 8 out of 10 times against types of teams… They have been neither physically strong enough to impose their will, nor or they intellectually (in a football sense) flexible enough to defeat the aforementioned teams when all things are equal….

Please STOP messaging me, we have absolutely nothing to discuss and it keeps me from saying what I think of you (socially and politically)…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 22nd, 2012
8:12 pm

JSS – What are you and Larry fighting about. Guess I’ll find out as I read on.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 22nd, 2012
8:17 pm

5150 UOAD — Just went down my list of veteran free agent middle linebackers.

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
8:24 pm

@Ledbetter…
No fight, the word means nothing on AJC blogs… Kinda like North and South Korea, sixty years technically still at war!

Why did you leave Odell off the list? ;-)

JSS

July 22nd, 2012
8:25 pm

“the word truce”

Larry

July 22nd, 2012
8:29 pm

JSS,

What is your issue? Yes, we’ve had our message board wars in the past and agreed–at least I did with the initial olive branch–to call a truce. I believe I’ve held up my end of the bargain, agreed?

I’m simply trying to get where you’re coming from. You seem at have aligned yourself at times with CHOKE and ‘poop, who are clearly appear at times racist with their constant attacks on Ryan and idolatry for Vick, so I’m, frankly, trying to define your motivation. I mean seriously, even if they are not Matt Ryan fans where’s the need–especially from CHOKE, not ‘poop–to obsessively assault and disparage Matt Ryan unwaveringly and unendingly? Even with his physical limitations the man is a decent guy who tries his best and keeps his nose out of trouble.

Your comments above give me a better understanding as I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1988. I too didn’t care for the Mora or Petrino hiring’s–especially dumping Reeves for the ammonia sniffing Mora.

You’re a sharp dude with a tremendous insight and historical perspective, but I think you at times devalue your contribution by some hidden bitterness and resentment…just trying in my mind to separate you from some folks here that that have nothing of consequence to offer but are obsessed with beating up on some players for reasons that are highly suspect and questionable.

Lighten up, man…I actually agree with comments and share your perspectivemore than might believe.

Larry

July 22nd, 2012
8:31 pm

JSS,

What is your issue? Yes, we’ve had our message board wars in the past and agreed–at least I did with the initial olive branch–to call a truce. I believe I’ve held up my end of the bargain, agreed?

I’m simply trying to get where you’re coming from. You seem at have aligned yourself at times with CHOKE and ‘poop, who are clearly appear at times racist with their constant attacks on Ryan and idolatry for Vick, so I’m, frankly, trying to define your motivation. I mean seriously, even if they are not Matt Ryan fans where’s the need–especially from CHOKE, not ‘poop–to obsessively assault and disparage Matt Ryan unwaveringly and unendingly? Even with his physical limitations the man is a decent guy who tries his best and keeps his nose out of trouble.

Your comments above give me a better understanding as I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1988. I too didn’t care for the Mora or Petrino hiring’s–especially dumping Reeves for the ammonia sniffing Mora.

You’re a sharp dude with a tremendous insight and historical perspective, but I think you at times devalue your contribution by some hidden bitterness and resentment…just trying in my mind to separate you from some folks here that that have nothing of consequence to offer but are obsessed with beating up on some players for reasons that are highly suspect and questionable.

Lighten up, man…I actually agree with some of your and share some of your perspectives more than you might believe!

Larry

July 22nd, 2012
8:32 pm

Orlando, release my last post, please! There’s nothing offensive or vulgar in it whatsoever!

This filter/delay is at times absurd!