Falcons coach Mike Smith says the club is going to look in-house to replace the injured Sean Weatherspoon, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t evaluate their options in free agency. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (on Twitter) hears that the Falcons are looking hard at former Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma. They’re also keeping an eye on fellow free agent veterans Pat Angerer and Tim Dobbins, according to Rapoport’s source.
If Vilma’s medicals look good, the Falcons may bring him in for a visit soon (link). The addition of Vilma could help shore up Atlanta’s linebacking core while also giving them some needed leadership in the locker room. Vilma is also being considered by the Cowboys, along with Brian Urlacher, as a potential replacement for Sean Lee. The former University of Miami star played only 12 snaps in 2013 following a knee injury.
Back in April it was reported that Angerer had interest from multiple clubs but wanted to make sure he was back to 100% health before auditioning for anyone. Angerer, 27, recorded 126 tackles in his first two NFL seasons but has played in just 12 games over the last two. Dobbins, 31, saw just three games of action last season for the Texans.
While Vilma, Angerer, and Dobbins will be considered by Atlanta, Rapoport says (link) that ex-Steelers LB James Harrison and the recently retired London Fletcher won’t be looked at. Earlier today, our own Luke Adams gave a thorough breakdown of all of the Falcons’ options and mentioned Vilma and Angerer as two of the top possibilities.