NFL NOTEBOOK: Falcons sign LB Nicholas, 22 undrafted free agents; Vikings snag McNabb; Titans sign Hasselbeck; Stallworth to Redskins

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

A person with knowledge of the contract said Wednesday the Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with linebacker Stephen Nicholas.

The person spoke anonymously to The Associated Press because the team has not announced the deal. Free agents can sign on Friday.

The contract is for five years and is worth $17.5 million overall.

Nicholas, a four-year veteran, made 25 starts over the past two seasons and will compete with veteran Coy Wire and rookie Akeem Dent for a starting job.

The Falcons still have several unrestricted free agents who helped them win the NFC South last year: starting offensive linemen Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock; linebacker Mike Peterson; kicker Matt Bryant; punter Michael Koenen; and cornerback Brian Williams.

The Falcons on Wednesday signed 22 undrafted college free agents, including fullback Lucas Cox of Georgia Tech and defensive tackle Kiante Tripp of Georgia.

The Falcons signed wide receivers Doug Beaumont of Louisville, Drew Davis of Oregon, P.J. Gore of Mars Hill College and running backs Thor Merrow of Northern Alabama, Philip Sylvester of Florida A&M and Youri Yenga of Southern Methodist.

The team signed quarterback Adam Froman of Louisville, tight end Ryan Winterswyk of Boise State, defensive end Tom McCarthy of Yale and linebacker LaMarcus Thompson of Tennessee.

Also signed were five defensive backs: Kirk Belgrave, Kent State; Matt Hansen, Rhode Island; Kamaal McIlwain, Newbury College; Suaesi Tuimaunei, Oregon State; and Darrin Walls, Notre Dame.

The team added center Paul Fenaroli of Stony Brook, offensive tackle Rob McGill of Louisiana Tech, center Ryan McMahon of Florida State, guard Matt Murphy of Nevada-Las Vegas and long snapper Andrew Schulze of Iowa.

Falcons players report on Thursday and open training camp on Friday.



The Tennessee Titans reached a deal with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

The 35-year-old Hasselbeck has spent the past 10 years with Seattle, but the Seahawks reached a deal Tuesday with quarterback Tavaris Jackson.

The Titans were looking for a veteran quarterback to help mentor rookie Jake Locker, the No. 8 overall draft pick. Veteran Kerry Collins announced July 7 he was retiring, and Tennessee plans to trade or release Vince Young likely before training camp on Friday.



DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers' career rushing leader, has agreed to re-sign with the team.

Williams' 2010 season was cut short by a right foot injury. He rushed for 361 yards and one touchdown.



The agent for Adam Vinatieri said Wednesday that the veteran kicker agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts.

The 38-year-old Vinatieri is one of just seven players in league history to score 500 or more points with two different teams (Patriots, Colts). He is headed into his 15th NFL season.

Vinatieri missed much of the 2009 season, but came back and played all 16 games last year, making 26 of 28 field-goal attempts.