D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that progress has been made in the negotiations between the Falcons and top draft pick Sean Weatherspoon. Per Ledbetter, it’s possible that with a “push” tomorrow morning, Weatherspoon could be signed in time to report on time with the rest of the team for team meetings on Thursday evening. However, the Falcons don’t hold their first practice until Friday morning at 8:30 AM, giving the team a bit more time to finalize a deal.
As of Wednesday night, only two other first round picks had been signed elsewhere in the league: 24th overall pick Dez Bryant and 27th overall pick Devin McCourty. Weatherspoon was the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The Falcons have not had a prolonged rookie holdout under the Smith-Dimitroff regime. 2008 first round pick Sam Baker did miss part of the team’s first practice due to the league working to approve his contract, while fellow ’08 top pick Matt Ryan and ’09 first rounder Peria Jerry were signed on time. 2007 top pick Jamaal Anderson also missed part of his first practice with the team in training camp. The Falcons haven’t had a prolonged holdout from a top pick since Roddy White nearly missed the entire first week of training camp in 2005.