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