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Offseason Focus: Linebackers


Much like other position groups on the Falcons roster, the linebackers have a few players that Atlanta will need to make decisions on during the 2012 offseason.

Starting middle linebacker Curtis Lofton and key backup Mike Peterson are scheduled to be free agents at the close of the 2011 season. Lofton has been a starter for the Falcons since being a second-round pick in 2008. This season was possibly the best of of his already-impressive young career. A starter in all 16 games in 2011 he led the Falcons with 147 tackles and added one sack and two interceptions.

Peterson, who will be entering his 14th season, four games for Atlanta this season due to injuries at linebacker. He has completed three seasons with the Falcons.

Atlanta's other two starting linebackers, Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas, are currently on five-year contracts. Weatherspoon's rookie contract will run through 2014. The deal Nicholas signed during training camp in 2011 will run through 2015.

Spencer Adkins, who started the season finale for the Falcons, is signed through 2012.

2011 rookie Akeem Dent is signed through 2014.

Robert James spent the last week of the season on the active roster after being promoted from the practice squad. His contract is undisclosed. Matt Hansen joined the Falcons' practice squad at the end of the season. He was recently signed to a reserve/future contract.

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