NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday on NFL Total Access that the Falcons are taking a hard look at former New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma as a potential replacement for Weatherspoon, via sources close to the Falcons situation.
Vilma, 32, remains a free agent after the Saints opted not to re-sign the 10-year veteran following a successful and, at times, controversial six-year stay in NOLA. If Vilma's primary medicals check out, the Falcons plan to bring the three-time Pro Bowler in for a visit.
The Falcons also have interest in free-agent veterans Pat Angerer and Tim Dobbins, according to the source. Rapoport has been told the team is not interested in London Fletcher or James Harrison, two more high-profile linebackers unconnected at this time.
Internally, the Falcons are looking at Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow on the inside. Prince Shembo has impressed the team with his versatility. Falcons sources believe they are in a better position than they were in last year to withstand losing a player like Weatherspoon, specifically because of the depth at linebacker and the defensive line.
The team believes the additions of Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson -- along with draft picks like Ra'Shede Hageman -- have increased the defense's physicality and will help keep blockers off the linebackers.