Falcons re-sign linebacker Mike Peterson

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons re-signed linebacker Mike Peterson, who was with them the past three years.

Peterson also played for coach Mike Smith when Smith was the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville.

Peterson can play inside and outside linebacker, and with middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu battling a chest injury, Peterson will provide some depth for the Falcons.

Last year, Peterson played in 15 games with five starts. He made 27 tackles (16 solo) while adding one interception and two passes defensed. He has 1,611 tackles (953 solo), 21½ sacks, 19 interceptions, 52 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries during his 13-year NFL career.

SAINTS: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith met Monday with NFL lawyers and a federal magistrate, but the closed-door settlement conference didn’t resolve lawsuits spawned by the players’ suspensions following the league’s bounty investigation.

Vilma and his attorneys emerged from the three-hour-long conference with U.S. Magistrate Daniel Knowles III without commenting on whether progress was made toward resolution of the case. The meeting was closed to the public.

In a court filing later Monday, Knowles said a settlement can’t be reached “at this time.” But he instructed the parties to contact him “at any stage of the proceeding if an additional settlement conference would be beneficial.”

Peter Ginsberg, one of Vilma’s attorneys, said only that the group “went through the settlement process” and that he expects “things will move along.”

COWBOYS: Dez Bryant’s mother has told authorities that she doesn’t want to pursue a case against her son after an argument allegedly turned violent.

Police in the southern Dallas suburb arrested Bryant last week after a July 14 incident in which he allegedly hit his mother, Angela Bryant, across the face with a ball cap. A police affidavit says Bryant grabbed his mother by her T-shirt, causing her bra to tear.

LIONS: Cut cornerback Aaron Berry, two days after he was arrested for the second time this off-season.

General manager Martin Mayhew says the Lions terminated Berry’s contract because of personal conduct which adversely affected the team.

PANTHERS: Acquired wide receiver Louis Murphy from the Oakland Raiders for an undisclosed conditional draft choice.

JETS: Acquired tackle Jeff Otah from the Panthers for a draft choice.

Otah spent four seasons with the Panthers after being a first-round draft choice (19th overall) in 2008.


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