Falcons trade Dent for Yates

T.J. Yates

T.J. Yates

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons traded linebacker Akeem Dent, a former starter, to the Houston Texans for quarterback T.J. Yates on Wednesday.

The team, in the market for a veteran linebacker after the season-ending injury to Sean Weatherspoon, also agreed to terms with Tim Dobbins on a one-year contract for the veteran minimum.

Dent was working with the second-team defense during the offseason.

He was a starter in 2012, before falling out of favor last season. Dent, who played at Douglass High in Atlanta and the University of Georgia, was selected in the third-round (91st overall) of the 2011 NFL draft.

Yates, who played at Pope High and North Carolina, was the odd man out in Houston’s quarterback competition.

Yates, 6-foot-4, 217 pounds, was picked by the Texans in the fifth round (152nd overall) of the 2011 NFL draft.

He made his first careeer start against the Falcons in 2011 and led the Texans to a 17-10 victory on Dec. 4. He completed 12 of 25 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown.

He completed 101 of 166 passes (60.8 percent) for 1,100 yards with three touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 71.4 quarterback rating in 13 career games with Houston.

Yates played in six games as a rookie in 2011, including five starts, leading the Texans to a 3-3 record after throwing for 949 yards on 82 of 134 passing (61.2 percent) with three touchdowns, three interceptions and an 80.7 passer rating.

There was an erroneous NFL Network report that Yates had been waived by the Texans on Tuesday.

The Marietta, Georgia native threw for 9,377 yards and 58 touchdowns while setting 37 school records while at North Carolina.

Yates will compete with Dominique Davis, Sean Renfree and Jeff Mathews for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Matt Ryan.

Dobbins, 31, a former fifth-round pick in 2005 by San Diego, has played for the Chargers, Miami and Houston. He played inside linebacker for Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, while in Miami in 2010.

Dobbins, 6-1, 234 pounds, has played in 110 games with 22 starts while totaling 253 tackles (195 solo) with three interceptions, two sacks, and 12 passes defensed.

Last season, Dobbins played in three games as a reserve linebacker. In three seasons with the Texans (2011-13), he played in 32 games with six starts and totaled 55 tackles with one interception and four passes defensed.

Dobbins spent his first four seasons in San Diego where he played in 62 games with 10 starts. In 2008, he registered career highs with 78 tackles (42 solo), one interception, and three forced fumbles.

In 2010 under Nolan, Dobbins played in 16 games with six starts and finished the season with 43 total tackles. A native of Nashville, Dobbins played collegiately at Iowa State.