Falcons bring back LB Mike Peterson

July, 23, 2012
7/23/12
5:24
PM ET
No big surprise here, but the Atlanta Falcons just announced they have signed linebacker Mike Peterson.

That was pretty much expected. Peterson has spent the last three seasons with the Falcons and his history with coach Mike Smith goes back to their time together with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Peterson knows the system and gives Atlanta some depth and flexibility at linebacker. That’s important because middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu will miss at least the start of training camp with a pectoral injury. That means second-year pro Akeem Dent will open camp working with the first team.

Peterson has been an outside linebacker and he’ll add depth behind starters Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas. But bringing back Peterson means the Falcons could shift one of their outside linebackers into the middle in a pinch. But, if Tatupu is out for the long term and Dent isn’t ready to take over the starting role, there’s a chance the Falcons still could look for a middle linebacker with experience later in the preseason.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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