Good news for fans of Stephen Nicholas, which probably includes just about everybody.
Apparently, the Falcons had the presence of mind to extend a restricted free agent tender to Nicholas before the early March deadline, leaving him very much in limbo pending the results of a new CBA. As you may recall, Nicholas has a difficult family situation with a sick child, so it's fair to say this lockout will weigh more heavily on him than someone with a contract and no obligations.
Basically, if there is no CBA the Falcons should be able to bring him back next year. Otherwise, they're going to have to start working on a long-term contract before he gets in his car and heads for St. Elsewhere.
I want to keep Nicholas. He's a great guy, a very competent linebacker and someone I'd be perfectly comfortable with as the top backup outside or even as a starter. I couldn't particularly blame him if he takes more money elsewhere, but he does seem fond of Atlanta and without him, the team essentially loses all its proven depth in the linebacking corps.
Should the Falcons keep him? You know how to weigh in.