Stephen Nicholas is back in the nest. So are 22 other young potential Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta came to terms with the former South Florida defensive end on Wednesday. WSB Sports Director Zach Klein reports that Nicholas was signed to a five-year, $17.5 million deal. The Atlanta linebacker played in all 16 games last season, staring 11 of them, recording 78 tackles while grabbing his first NFL interception.
Nicholas, who was a fourth round pick in the 2007 draft, set a career-best with 80 tackles in the 2009 season. He has notched 211 tackles and five sacks over his first three professional seasons. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker has also been featured on Atlanta’s special team unit.
Nicholas wasn’t the only one who reportedly signed with the Falcons on Wednesday. The Dirty Birds also finalized their list of undrafted free agents that will be at Flowery Branch when the team suits up for their first practice at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. Nichloas will not. His contract cannot be officially executed until 6 p.m. that day.
One name left off the list was West Viriginia RB Noel Devine. However, should Devine make an NFL team, it won’t be long before Falcons fans get a glimpse of the diminutive 5-foot-7 Devine, who elected to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles instead.
The Falcons open their home slate under the lights on Sept. 18 against former teammate Michael Vick and the Eagles.
Included on Atlanta’s lengthy invite list was Boise State DE/TE Ryan Wintersywk and Louisville QB Adam Froman, who may battle John Parker Wilson for the No. 3 QB job on the Atlanta roster.
As always, the Falcons list of undrafted college free agents has a bit of local flavor. The list of undrafted college free agents include FB Lucas Cox from Georgia Tech and DL/TE Kiante Tripp from Georgia.
The entire list is as follows:
WR Doug Beaumont (Louisville)
DB Kirk Belgrave (Kent State)
FB Lucas Cox (Georgia Tech)
WR Drew Davis (Oregon)
C Paul Fenaroli (Stony Brook)
QB Adam Froman (Louisville)
DB Matt Hansen (Rhode Island)
WR P.J. Gore (Mars Hill College)
DE Tom McCarthy (Yale)
T Rob McGill (Louisiana Tech)
DB Kamaal McIlwain (Newberry College)
C Ryan McMahon (Florida State)
FB Thor Merrow (Northern Alabama)
G Matt Murphy (Nevada-Las Vegas)
LB Andrew Schulze (Iowa)
RB Philip Sylvester (Florida A&M)
LB LaMarcus Thompson (Tennessee)
DL/TE Kiante Tripp (Georgia)
DB Suaesi Tuimaunel (Oregon State)
DB Darrin Walls (Notre Dame)
DE/TE Ryan Wintersywk (Boise State)
RB Youri Yenga (SMU)
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