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Atlanta Falcons sign WR Mohamed Sanu, restock defensive line
Miami Dolphins defensive end Derrick Shelby (79) smiles as he scores a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the first half of a Dec. 6 game against the Baltimore Ravens in Miami Gardens, Fla. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub (8) is running behind Shelby. - photo by Wilfredo Lee

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons have filled a big spot on their offense, reaching terms with former Cincinnati receiver Mohamed Sanu on a five-year contract.

Sanu will compete with Justin Hardy for the No. 2 receiver role behind All-Pro Julio Jones.

A day after making former Cleveland center Alex Mack the NFL’s highest-paid player at his position, the Falcons beefed up their receiving corps with Sanu. The team had a major vacancy after last week’s release of Roddy White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who spent his first 11 years in Atlanta.

Sanu’s versatility helped the Bengals win the AFC North last year as he caught 33 passes for 394 yards receiving and ran 10 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Cincinnati drafted him in the third round of 2012.

Atlanta also turned its attention Thursday to defense, re-signing end Adrian Clayborn to a two-year contract and bringing former Miami end Derrick Shelby aboard with a four-year deal.

Second-year coach Dan Quinn is trying to shore up a pass rush that’s ranked no higher than 28th in sacks since 2012. The Falcons’ 19 sacks were the league’s fewest last season.

Clayborn, a five-year veteran, led Atlanta with 15 quarterback hits and was second with three sacks in 16 games. The former first-round pick of Tampa Bay signed a one-year contract with the Falcons last spring.

Shelby, a four-year veteran who’s missed just one game in his career, had 3 1/2 sacks last season.

The Falcons released defensive tackle Paul Soliai, a two-year starter, on Wednesday.

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