Jay Adams of Atlanta Falcons.com announced earlier today that the Atlanta Falcons were scheduled to conduct a visit with free-agent linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who formerly played for the Falcons from 2010 to 2014 before signing with the Arizona Cardinals last offseason. He is set to visit with Falcons officials tomorrow.
Weatherspoon, 28, was plagued by injuries throughout his five-year tenure with the Falcons, missing a total of 33 games over that span. He missed the entire 2014 season due to a torn Achilles tendon, prompting the Falcons to pass on re-signing him at the outset of free agency a year ago.
He landed with the Cardinals but earned minimal playing time thanks in part to a hamstring injury he suffered during training camp. Despite appearing in 14 games for the Cardinals, Spoon only played 126 defensive snaps, spending the bulk of his year performing special teams duties. He finished the year with 11 tackles.
Earning the nickname “Spoon”, he was originally a first-round pick of the Falcons out of Missouri in 2010, emerging quickly as a playmaker on the defense. He started every game at weak-side linebacker in 2011, recording career-highs with 113 tackles and four sacks. His production dipped the next two years thanks in part to defensive scheme changes and injuries.
The Falcons replaced Weatherspoon with another injury-prone veteran in Justin Durant in 2015, who was released at the outset of this offseason after a lackluster first and only season in Atlanta.
With the departure of Durant coupled with the fact that reserves Nate Stupar and Philip Wheeler are both unsigned unrestricted free agents, the Falcons are in the market to add bodies at weak-side linebacker. Given his durability issues over the years, it’s unknown if the Falcons see Spoon serving primarily as a starter or reserve in 2016. Spoon was a vocal leader on the Falcons prior to his departure and the team could see him serving in that same capacity moving forward.