After losing Nate Stupar to the Saints and cutting Justin Durant, the Atlanta Falcons were very short on depth at linebacker. They are bringing back a familiar face who should have a chance at a significant number of snaps.
Zach Klein of WSB had the news first.
#Falcons are signing LB Philip Wheeler to a 1-year deal per league source— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) March 24, 2016
Wheeler made an impact last season in limited snaps, filling in at both MLB and WLB. Wheeler could start at WLB, and could also sub in for Worrilow on passing downs. There is plenty of opportunity for Wheeler to get heavy snaps, and he is fairly competent both in coverage and against the run.
We will wait for the official contract numbers, but at first glance this appears to be a great signing for the team. The Falcons get a good, young player with upside that can start on day one. The move should additionally give the team much more flexibility with what they need to do in the draft.