The Falcons have a weak linebacker corps right now, we all agree, but they appear to be working on a low-cost addition that would be worth celebrating.
#Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the Falcons are still negotiating with linebacker Philip Wheeler, who helped them out immensely last season.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) March 23, 2016
I was a bit skeptical about Wheeler's addition during last season, given his declining performance for Miami, but the change of scenery did him good. He looked like the fastest, most athletic linebacker on the field for Atlanta for long stretches in 2015, and adding him back to the roster right now would be a potentially tremendous boost. Wheeler's speed and open field tackling ability mean he's a good fit for the Falcons' nickel sets, and they'll be running a lot of those in 2016.
Is it a little sad that a 31-year-old who was a street free agent part way through the 2015 season might draw heavy snaps for the Falcons this year? Perhaps. What would be even sadder is if the Falcons let him walk away after doing very little to upgrade their linebackers thus far, so let's hope Wheeler returns and is an asset again.