Dan Quinn wants Sean Weatherspoon back on Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons used Thursday and Friday to trim the roster of millions in cap space.

Steven Jackson, Harry Douglas and Justin Blalock were all sent packing, but new coach Dan Quinn has different plans for free-agent linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.

"With him, it's that toughness and the speed that he can play with so, yes, definitely someone that we're talking to," Quinn said Friday, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. "I know he's got that kind of attitude. And you know me, just from watching our style of defense, it's fast and physical. And that's what Sean is. So, we're certainly hoping that he can be a big part of it moving forward."

Weatherspoon missed all last season with an Achilles tear after playing just seven games in the previous campaign because of a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. Injuries have sideswiped his career, but Weatherspoon still has the support of general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who called the sixth-year linebacker an "important part" of Quinn's defense.

McClure was told that at least one AFC team will pursue Weatherspoon if the Falcons don't nab him, but Quinn and Dimitroff -- charged with rebuilding Atlanta's defense -- appear to be in lockstep about re-signing the team's first-round pick from 2010.

"He hit a string of bad luck," Quinn said. "Can he come back and play at a level that he's capable of? That's what we're excited to find out."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the annual "Top 101 free agents" list and discusses the latest in league news. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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