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Former Bulldog Taylor cut by Falcons
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FLOWERY BRANCH — The Atlanta Falcons signed free agents, linebacker Tony Gilbert and tight end Justin Peelle and completed the practice squad with the signing of defensive end Sean Conover and running back Kenneth Darby on Sunday. The Falcons also released tight end Jason Rader and former Georgia linebacker Tony Taylor.

Gilbert, 6-foot, 248 pounds, spent the past five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was coached by then defensive coordinator Mike Smith, the Falcons first-year head coach. In 56 career games, Gilbert has totaled 23 tackles (15 solo), one sack and one fumble recovery. He left Jacksonville tied for sixth in team history with 38 special teams tackles. Gilbert is a native of Macon and attended Central High School.

Peelle, 6-4, 250 pounds, was a member of the Miami Dolphins from 2006-07 and was coached by Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey who served as Miami’s tight ends coach in 2007. In 93 career games, he has totaled 85 receptions for 614 yards and seven touchdowns. Last season, he set career highs in receptions (29), yards (228) and tied his career mark in touchdowns (two).

Darby, 5-10, 211 pounds, was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Alabama. After being promoted from the Buccaneers practice squad on October 3, he posted two carries for nine yards and two receptions for 16 yards in his first career game against Carolina on December 30, 2007.

Conover, 6-5, 275 pounds, is a two-year veteran who spent both seasons with the Tennessee Titans (2006-07). The Bucknell alum has collared 25 tackles (14 solo) in 11 career games.

Rader was signed as a free agent on March 14, 2008 and saw action in all four preseason contests for Atlanta.

Taylor competed in 16 games with the Falcons last season seeing the majority of action on special teams. He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Atlanta on May 1, 2007. He spent much of the preseason as the team’s No. 1 middle linebacker, but was recently surpassed by rookie Curtis Lofton.

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