Stephen Nicholas has been one of the Atlanta Falcons' defensive stalwarts during the franchise's resurgence under Mike Smith, and now he will remain in Atlanta for the near future. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Falcons have agreed to terms with Nicholas on a new five-year deal.
It's a five-year deal worth $17.5 million, according to Zach Klein of Atlanta's WSB television station.
Nicholas was a largely unknown prospect from South Florida when the Falcons drafted him in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He provided help off the bench in his first two NFL seasons, and has become a productive starter in the last two years, recording 129 tackles in 2009 and 2010 while starting 24 games at linebacker.
Nicholas was linked with the Giants entering the 2011 NFL free agency period, but now he'll remain with the rising Falcons until the middle of the decade at least.