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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

UPDATE: Babineaux agrees to 3-year extension with Falcons

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UPDATE 2 – 1:16 P.M.: Falcons defensive end Jonathan Babineaux has agreed to a three-year contract extension on Tuesday, according to the team. 

UPDATE: Falcons defensive end Jonathan Babineaux is closed to a three-year deal with the team in order to avoid him becoming an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. today, according to National Football Post.

Babineaux’s agent, Jack Bechta, is a contributor to the site and writes a wonderful column on the business side of the league called The Agent’s Journal.

FLOWERY BRANCH — With less than 24 hours before the start of free agency, longtime Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux appears set to become an unrestricted free agent.

The Falcons have until 4 p.m. Tuesday to re-sign Babineaux or he will be free to negotiate with the rest of the league’s 31 teams.

Babineaux, 32, a defensive tackle and defensive end when the Falcons line up in their 3-4, does a lot of the dirty work in the trenches. He has been the team’s most disruptive linemen.

He started all 16 games last season and had 42 tackles and one sack.

In 2012, he finished with 42 tackles (33 solos), 3.5 sacks, 11 tackles for losses, five pass breakups and he recovered a fumble that he returned for a touchdown against Arizona.

Babineaux, who surprisingly has never been voted to the Pro Bowl, has been one of the most productive linemen in the NFL.

Since he was drafted by the Falcons in 2005, Babineaux’s 49.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage are the most by any defensive tackle entering last season.

Babineaux has 22.5 career sacks. He achieved his career-high of six sacks in 2009.

The Falcons, who have elected not to use the franchise or transition tag this offseason, have now signed offensive lineman Mike Johnson and defensive tackle Corey Peters to one-year extensions.

The Falcons’ list of potential unrestricted free agents include Babineaux, center/guard Joe Hawley, defensive tackle Peria Jerry, tackle Sean Locklear, tackle Jeremy Trueblood, tight end Chase Coffman, cornerback Dominique Franks and linebacker Omar Gaither.

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