Falcons trade Dent for Yates and sign vet linebacker


News came down tonight with new Falcons backup quarterback TJ Yates simply tweeting out, #RiseUp. In return the Falcons send linebacker Akeem Dent to the Texans and also sign veteran inside linebacker Tim Dobbins.

Yates comes to the Falcons after spending the last three seasons with the Texans as a backup to former Falcon Matt Schaub. Falcons fans might remember him from his 2011 debut as the Texans starter, picking up a 17-10 win over Atlanta down in Houston. Yates took over for Schaub that year, after the latter suffered a season ending foot injury. That season, Yates went on to finish with a 3-4 record as the starter. Two of those three wins were against the Cincinnati Bengals. One of those wins was on the road to help Houston clinch their first AFC South title in franchise history and the other was their first playoff win at home.

Since then, he appeared in mop up duty for Matt Schaub in a handful of games in 2012 and ’13.

Falcons have been rotating both quarterback’s Sean Renfree and Dominique Davis in for the second team reps during mini-camp so far. This move likely means the Falcons intend to give Yates the inside track to be the primary backup role to Matt Ryan.

Yates is definitely familiar with the Atlanta-area, playing both football and basketball at Pope High School in Marietta. Then he decided to move on to University of North Carolina, where he was a four year starter at QB for the Tar Heels.

The Falcons are sending linebacker Akeem Dent to the Texans as part of this trade. He leaves Atlanta after a three year career with the team. Before joining the Falcons, Dent played his college ball at Georgia and high school ball at Douglass High School.

Dent was getting second team defensive reps throughout OTA’s and Mini-Camp at inside linebacker. The Falcons are playing Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu as the starting inside linebackers. That’s because of the injury to Sean Weatherspoon and their play from the 2013 season.

The move now allows for Dent to get a fresh start with the Texans and team up with veteran defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and former Patriot turned linebackers coach Mike Vrabel.

Not to be forgotten of the moves on Wednesday night for the Falcons, is the signing of veteran inside linebacker Tim Dobbins. The veteran linebacker came into the NFL in 2006 with the San Diego Chargers, where he played in a 3-4 defense for Wade Phillips during his rookie season. He joined back up with Phillips in Houston in 2011. In between his playing years with the Chargers and Texans, Dobbins spent a season with the Miami Dolphins.

He gives the Falcons depth at the inside linebacker position, where five of the players vying for playing time at those spots are first or second year players. Remember the Falcons drafted Prince Shembo, Marquis Spruill, and Yawin Smallwood this past May.

Dobbins was also a special teams stalwart for the Texans and will give Keith Armstrong some help in that department here in Atlanta.


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