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Falcons Sign Former Panthers, Bears Linebacker James Anderson

He'll fill the roster spot opened by Antone Smith being placed on injured reserve.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Falcons have signed veteran linebacker James Anderson to fill the roster spot left open by Antone Smith's season-ending leg injury, giving them additional depth at one of the weaker positions on the roster.

Anderson, 31, started 53 games for the Panthers between 2006 and 2012, putting up a combined 275 tackles between 2010 and 2011 with five sacks, 14 pass deflections and three interceptions. After that peak, he spent 2013 with the Bears and picked up 102 tackles and four sacks that year in 16 starts. He played in just seven games for the Titans this season, with just five tackles to his name.

This is far from a transformative signing, but Anderson was a useful linebacker as recently as last season, and the Falcons' linebacking corps has not been a strength in 2014 outside of Paul Worrilow, who has been coming on in recent weeks. He may be able to work his way into some playing time ahead of Joplo Bartu and Prince Shembo, though certainly I guarantee nothing for a 31-year-old linebacker cut by the Tennessee Titans. Given that William Moore and Drew Davis are on the verge of returning, it's entirely possible he lasts a week or two and finds himself out of work again, so don't get your hopes high.

Still, given that the Falcons have three useful running back options and can easily bring Javier Arenas off the inactives list to help out at cornerback, this was a better use of that open roster spot. We'll hope he can provide some help.

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