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Four-year deal keeps Finneran with Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (March 13, 2006) -- Receiver Brian Finneran re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons, agreeing to a four-year contract.

Finneran, who caught 60 passes for 611 yards in 2005, was more productive than a pair of first-round picks from the last two years, Michael Jenkins and Roddy White.

Besides a brief stint with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, Finneran has spent his entire career with the Falcons. The Eagles and San Francisco 49ers both expressed interest in having Finneran join their teams, but the Falcons came up with an offer that included $3 million in guaranteed money.

"It was tough to say no to Atlanta," Finneran said. "With all things being relatively equal, we definitely wanted to stay here."

Since 2001, Finneran has caught 187 passes, 131 for first downs and 15 for touchdowns. He also plays an important role on special teams.

"It was a priority for us to retain Brian Finneran, and we're happy that we have gotten this deal accomplished," Falcons president and general manager Rich McKay said. "Brian is an integral part of our passing game and complements our running game with a physical presence, in addition to contributing on special teams."

The Falcons, who went 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs, have been relatively quite since the NFL began unrestricted free agency March 11. The team needs to upgrade both safety positions, though it likely will use the draft to fill one spot.

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