Falcons keep center Todd McClure

Updated: March 27, 2012, 3:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Center Todd McClure will return to the Atlanta Falcons for a 14th season.

The 35-year-old McClure holds Atlanta's franchise record for consecutive starts with 144 during the 2002-10 seasons. He played in 13 games last season, starting all of them.

"We're very excited as an organization to have a player and person like Todd McClure to come back to us and play his 13th season with us,'' general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "He's the consummate leader. He's what we're looking for in an offensive lineman in terms of the toughness and the grit and, most importantly, the leadership."

His return gives the Falcons some depth in the middle of the line. Joe Hawley also plays center, but McClure's return could allow Hawley to compete for a starting job at guard, where Justin Blalock and Garrett Reynolds were last year's starters.

He was selected by the Falcons in the seventh round of the 1999 draft.

ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas contributed to this report.