Fiery LB Sean Weatherspoon will not return to the Falcons to play in Dan Quinn’s defense after missing all of 2014.
The Atlanta Falcons are expected to part ways with Weatherspoon instead of trying to re-sign him in unrestricted free agency next week.
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NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Falcons are prepared to part ways with their star LB, even though the General Manager of the team said last month that Weatherspoon would be a key component in rebuilding the defense – which finished last in the league in yards allowed after he missed the 2014 season.
On February 3 2015, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff told AJC.com that Weatherspoon’s leadership and skill would be vital in revitalizing the Falcons defense under new head coach Dan Quinn – a defensive-minded coach who helped build the Atlanta Falcons into the league’s No. 1 defense for two straight years.
Weatherspoon was drafted No. 19 overall by the Falcons in the 2010 NFL draft but didn’t see much action as a rookie. In 2011 he had his breakout year with 125 tackles, 4.0 sacks, and a fumble recovery. But his following three years would be marred by injuries. In 2012, Weatherspoon missed three games and the following year he played in a grand total of seven. In the past three seasons he has missed 28 games due to injuries.
With his contract poised to expire when unrestricted free agency begins next week, Weatherspoon will enter a free agency period that has only a small number of elite talents available at the LB position – which means that the market for Weatherspoon could heat up rather quickly.