Hope, 31, adds much-needed veteran depth to the back end of the Falcons' secondary, behind projected starters William Moore and Thomas DeCoud. James Sanders filled this role during the 2011 season but moved on in free agency, signing with the Arizona Cardinals and leaving recent sixth-round picks Shann Schillinger (2010) and Charles Mitchell (2012) as the top backups to Moore and DeCoud.
On Thursday, the Falcons cleared a spot on their 90-man roster by placing rookie wide receiver Cody Pearcy on waivers.
A 2002 third-round pick out of Florida State by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 6-foot, 204-pound Hope became a full-time starter in 2004 and parlayed a then career-high 96 tackles and three interceptions during the Steelers' Super Bowl season in 2005 into a six-year, $30 million contract from the Tennessee Titans. Hope started 77 of 85 games in six seasons with the Titans, totaling 455 tackles, four sacks and 16 interceptions. Hope also went to the Pro Bowl following the 2008 season.
Hope started just two of 10 games in 2011, appearing in just over a quarter of the Titans' defensive snaps as Jordan Babineaux replaced him in the starting lineup.