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.
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
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
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