T.J. Yates isn’t cut, after all. Instead, he’s now a Falcon. Despite reports previously in the week suggesting the Houston Texans had cut the backup quarterback, the former North Carolina Tarheel has actually been traded to the Atlanta Falcons.

Per reports, Houston had fully intended on waiving Yates, but word got out around the league and other NFL teams started calling with trade offers. Atlanta won the bidding war.

Yates was sent off to Georgia in return for inside linebacker Akeem Dent and is fully expected to compete for the top backup job behind starter Matt Ryan. Yates isn’t a lock for that gig, however, as Dominique Davis, Sean Renfree and Jeff Matthews are all also on the roster and ready to compete.

Renfree was a hot sleeper pick late in mock drafts heading into the 2013 NFL Draft and could be a dark horse for the position, while Davis has shown well in preseason play in the past and also has a good chance at locking down the number two spot. Matthews could be in play, but is more than likely going to be the odd man out.

Yates was initially seen as a potential gem himself, coming out of North Carolina, and almost proved to be exactly that in 2011 when he was called upon to fill in for an injured Matt Schaub. Yates ended that season with three touchdowns to three interceptions and even appeared in Houston’s playoff loss.

The last two seasons haven’t been as kind to Yates, however, as he saw almost no time on the field in 2012 and did not take advantage of his opportunities after Schaub was benched in 2013. Yates put up zero touchdowns to two picks in three appearances last season before being permanently passed over by third stringer Case Keenum.

On the other side of the trade is linebacker Akeem Dent, who could come in and compete for a spot in Houston’s linebacker rotation. A starter of seven games for the Falcons a year ago, Dent has proven to be a sure tackler and strong in run support. He could be looked at as a backup plan if Brooks Reed’s transition from outside linebacker to the inside doesn’t pan out, although he would be a liability in pass coverage.

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