Brooks Reed, Atlanta Falcons reach five-year deal


The Atlanta Falcons have a couple of replacements for linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who defected to Arizona on Tuesday.

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The Falcons are signing former Texans linebacker Brooks Reed to a five-year, $22 million contract, reports NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

The team also announced the addition of former Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant.

Reed, 28, has started 52 of 60 games since the Texans selected him at No. 42 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Although he's been stronger than expected against the run, Reed has been a major disappointment as a pass rusher, managing just 14.5 sacks in four years, primarily as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

The contract terms suggest new coach Dan Quinn believes Reed's talents will be maximized with a shift to a 4-3 defense.

Durant, 29, played at a high level in six starts before a torn biceps ended his season in October. He's an effective, albeit injury-prone linebacker.

The Falcons aren't finished upgrading the defense. Former Titans edge rusher Derrick Morgan's first visit will be in Atlanta, where he played his college ball, per Rapoport.

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