The <a href=”http://www.atlantafalcons.com/2012/03/walker-signs-tender-zelenka-re-signed/”>Falcons announced earlier today</a> that defensive tackle Vance Walker and long snapper Joe Zelenka both agreed to return to the team. Walker, a restricted free agent, signed his one-year tender. Zelenka was an unrestricted free agent, and terms of his new deal with the team were undisclosed.
It had been previously reported that Walker had already agreed to sign his $1.26 million tender on the opening day of free agent, but his agent, <a href=”https://twitter.com/#!/AlvinKeels/status/179661596837167104″>Alvin Keels, tweeted shortly that those reports were false</a>. Walker will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2012 season. He was originally a 7th round pick by the Falcons in 2009. In three seasons with the Falcons, he has combined for 48 tackles and 2 sacks in 42 appearances, including two starts. Walker was the lone restricted free agent for the Falcons this off-season. Restricted free agents have until April 20 to sign offer sheets with new teams. Their respective teams then have the right of first refusal, which allows them to match the offer of the new team, or to allow them to depart and receive compensation in the form of draft picks.
Zelenka’s return to the team was potentially shaky given the team had signed a pair of free agents, Corey Adams and Scott Albritton, to futures contracts back in January. But the team opted to bring back the veteran snapper. He first joined the team at the end of hte 2009 season, after Mike Schneck went on injured reserve and his replacement Bryan Pittman was inconsistent in four games.