Mike Peterson deal a bargain for Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons’ re-signing of linebacker Mike Peterson came at a minimal cost.

Using a loophole (the veteran minimum salary benefit), Peterson’s salary-cap value will cost the team far less than what he actually will earn.

Peterson’s one-year deal is for a base salary of $925,000. He also received a $65,000 signing bonus. The benefit loophole (designed as a way to keep veterans in the league) allows his base salary to count as only $540,000. Throw in the signing bonus and Peterson’s cap figure is $605,000.

That has virtually no impact on Atlanta’s current cap space because only the top 51 contracts count against the cap. The Falcons still have about $2.75 million in cap space.

More importantly, they’ve also got some solid depth and leadership in Peterson, who spent the last three seasons with Atlanta and also was with coach Mike Smith in Jacksonville.