Thierry signs deal with Atlanta

Former Packers defensive end John Thierry signed with the Atlanta Falcons today.<p>

Thierry, 6-4, 262 pounds, spent the last two seasons (2000-2001) with the Green Bay Packers as a starter at right defensive end. He was originally a first-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears out of Alcorn State in 1994.

After five seasons with the Bears, Thierry, entering his ninth season, spent the 1999 season with the Cleveland Browns prior to joining the Packers.

A veteran of 121 games, including 66 starts, Thierry has registered 269 total tackles, including 29.5 sacks, plus 11 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two interceptions among 22 passes defensed over his career.

Thierry, along with defensive tackle Santana Dotson, was released by the Packers in February. He is coming off a knee injury that kept him out of the last quarter of the season last year and the playoffs.

Thierry has seen some action at linebacker during his career. Thierry was a two-year starter at strong-side linebacker during his collegiate career at Alcorn State.

Last season with Green Bay, Thierry started in 12 of 16 regular season games and finished with 29 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two passes defensed and was credited with one safety. He suffered a medial right knee sprain in the first half of a Monday night game at Jacksonville (12/3), forcing him to be inactive for the next two games. He returned to action but then aggravated the knee and was then placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

During his first year in Green Bay in 2000, he led the team in sacks with 6.5 and led the defensive linemen in total tackles with a career-high 62 total stops. After playing as a reserve and a part-time starter during his first three NFL seasons, Thierry moved into the starting position out of training camp in 1997 with Chicago. He started the first nine games of that season at left end before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He finished his injury-shortened season with 29 tackles, three sacks and two passes defensed.

He appeared in all 16 games in his one season with Cleveland in 1999 and started in ten of those games with three starts at linebacker and seven at defensive end. He led Cleveland with a career-high seven sacks.

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