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D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons re-sign defensive lineman Peria Jerry

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Falcons defensive lineman Peria Jerry rushing the passer against Seattle in 2011. (Associated Press)

Falcons defensive lineman Peria Jerry rushing the passer against Seattle in 2011. (Associated Press)

Defensive tackle/end Peria Jerry, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2009, has re-signed with the team, according to the Falcons.

At the outset of free agency, the Falcons appeared set to part ways with Jerry. His career arc was stunted by a gruesome knee injury in his second NFL game.

“There’s nothing going on,” said agent Bus Cook said on Friday, March 7th before the start of free agency.

Jerry was selected with the 24th pick in 2009, two picks before the Green Bay Packers selected Clay Matthews III. While Jerry battled injuries, Matthews turned into a four-time Pro Bowler and was the Sporting News’ defensive player of the year in 2010.

After coming back from the knee injury, Jerry played sparingly in 2010.

The Falcons’ position of not announcing details of injuries helped fuel the perception that Jerry’s has been a bust. In the second game of his career he suffered what was described as a “severe” injury. But the details were never forthcoming.

In 2010, he played about 30 percent of the snaps, but was inconsistent. The following season he started four of the 16 games that he played in. In 2012, he started nine of 14 games as he played some defensive end when the Falcons were in a 3-4.

Last season, he played 678 snaps, had 37 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He played defensive end when the Falcons used their 3-4 alignment and defensive tackle in the 4-3.

Jerry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wanted to return.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Jerry said. “You (don’t) have any control over that. Really, we are just playing it by ear to see what happens. There is nothing that you can do about it. That’s the people upstairs’ decision.

“I started here and would love to stay here.”

Looks like he’s going to get that chance.

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