FOXBORO MA - DECEMBER 06: James Sanders #36 of the New England Patriots celebrates after he intercepted a pass against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 6 2010 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

James Sanders Signs With Atlanta Falcons, Will Compete For Starting Job

Recently cut Patriots safety was signed Tuesday by the Atlanta Falcons, according to a report.

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3 Total Updates since August 31, 2011
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James Sanders To Compete For Atlanta Falcons Starting Spot, According To Report

Most Atlanta Falcons fans were pleased with the acquisition of former New England Patriots safety James Sanders, even though he'd been expected to provide a utility backup role throughout the secondary. Now it seems he's in line to push to start, as Thomas Dimitroff told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [Tweet since deleted, but Falcons fans are discussing the report at the link.]

Sanders has played both strong safety and free safety, and I agree with Dave Choate that Thomas DeCoud's free safety position could be a likelier fit than William Moore's strong safety spot. DeCoud has made at least a couple of visible mistakes this preseason -- not that you'd base such a thing strictly on preseason performance. Moore adds value as a run defender and over-the-middle enforcer, meaning his own middlin' pass coverage isn't all that noticeable.

At minimum, this is a little bit of tough talk meant to put some fire into DeCoud and Moore, and that really can't be a bad thing. From what we've heard, if Sanders has to step up, Falcons fans have reason to be confident he can handle just about anything.

For more Falcons, head to Falcons blog The Falcoholic. For more New England, visit Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.

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James Sanders Signs One-year Atlanta Falcons Contract, According To Report

Recently released safety James Sanders signed a one-year deal to play for the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday night, Adam Schefter reported, with Falcons radio announcer Dave Archer confirming. Flowery Branch was Sanders' first stop after being cut earlier this week. He was scheduled to stop by the Chiefs next -- both the Falcons and Chiefs have ties to New England's front office.

He was once named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a game he didn't even start. With three interceptions last year, he reached eight for his career. And he has a solid reputation off the field, once taking less money to stay in New England. People like to hear that kind of thing.

Yes, but could he challenge for the nickel spot?

Sanders has only been listed as a safety during his NFL career, even though he's played both strong safety and free safety. He's started 50 games in that span, appearing in 84. At Fresno State, he made his mark as a strong safety. It looks like this is a move to provide a challenge to the team's two starting safeties, along with some versatile veteran depth and a special teams presence.

For more Falcons, head to Falcons blog The Falcoholic. For more New England, visit Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.

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James Sanders Meeting With Atlanta Falcons After Patriots Cut, According To Report

Recently cut Patriots safety is coming in for a visit with the Atlanta Falcons, according to a report.

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