Cooper signs with Falcons

A familiar name will be back in Bank of America Stadium next season, but wearing a different uniform.

The recent signing of veteran journeyman Deke Cooper went under the radar but it could turn out to be an important acquisition. Cooper started 15 games for Carolina last season and was brought in to push veteran Lawyer Milloy -- the leader of the team.

Though Milloy would be hard to unseat an injury or poor training camp could lead to his demise, especially since he is in the last year of his contract. If Cooper doesn't unseat Milloy, he could replace Daren Stone as the backup. Stone, a second-year player, has a ton of promise, but a DUI arrest this summer hurt his stock on a team looking to upgrade its character.

The Panthers hope to replace Cooper with third-round pick Charles Godfrey, who has been solid in mini-camps. Godfrey should add more play-making ability to the free safety position.

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