McClure returns for one more year
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that free agent center Todd McClure has re-signed with the Falcons on a one-year agreement. McClure has been with the Falcons since 1999, being the longest tenured player. He was originally drafted in the seventh round out of LSU in that year, but missed the entire season due to an injury. He returned in 2000 to start 7 games. In 2002, he began a streak of starting every game for the team that would last 9 seasons until he was forced to sit out the season opener this past year. McClure managed to finished the year with 13 starts. His career total is 179 starts. His 182 career appearances is the fourth most in Falcons history, trailling only Mike Kenn (251), Jeff Van Note (245), and Jessie Tuggle (209).
Had McClure not been re-signed, it was expected that Joe Hawley would take over for him at center. Hawley replaced McClure for 3 starts last year, but also started 9 other games at right guard. The team added Vince Manuwai in free agency to take over that position.