Channing Crowder wants to play for the Falcons

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D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Falcons have “been in touch” with former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, who is planning an NFL comeback in 2012.

The Crowder-Falcons link makes sense because Atlanta just hired Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator. Nolan oversaw the Dolphins’ defense for the past two seasons. Crowder was a starting inside linebacker for Miami in 2010.

“I’d love to play in Atlanta,” Crowder confirmed. “Coach Nolan is my guy. Actually, when he got the job in Atlanta he [sent] me a text. Coach Nolan is a first-class guy.

“I told him if he needs a better linebacker, let me know,” Crowder added. “He texted me back and said, ‘I’ll keep in touch.'”

The Falcons are expected to try to re-sign incumbent starting middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who is a free agent. Crowder has experience as a 4-3 starting outside linebacker, too, however, and could team with Lofton inside should Nolan implement 3-4 looks into Atlanta’s defense.

Crowder is still only 28 years old, and his body should be fresh after sitting out last season. He’s going to be a cost-effective pickup for some team.