The Falcons have re-signed OLB Stephen Nicholas, keeping one of their key defenders in the lineup. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, the deal is for $17.5 million over five years.
Nicholas became a starter for the Falcons in 2009 and has been a steady contributor ever since. He registered 78 tackles last season, helping the team win the NFC South.
The way we see it
Nicholas was a backup last season until rookie Sean Weatherspoon suffered an early-season injury. The Falcons inserted Nicholas into the starting lineup and he clearly convinced the team that he was worthy of a long-term investment. His role in 2011 could depend on what Atlanta decides to do about free agent Mike Peterson.
The team has interest in re-signing Peterson, but Nicholas will likely start on the strong side, with Weatherspoon sliding to the weak side, if Peterson does not return.