Falcons Make Cuts, Settle On Final Roster

Troy Bergeron was among the many Falcons cut Saturday. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

There's a few surprises amid the cuts, but nothing jaw-dropping.

Per the official site's invaluable Jay Adams, here's a list of final cuts:

The Falcons terminated the contracts of fullback Dan Klecko and center Brett Romberg.  Atlanta waived tight end Robbie Agnone, wide receiverTroy Bergeron, wide receiver Tim Buckley, running back Dimitri Nance, center Blake Schlueter, wide receiver Andy Strickland, wide receiver Ryan Wolfe, tight end Keith Zinger, safety Rafael Bush, safety Eric Brock, cornerback Dominique Daniels, cornerback Chevis Jackson, linebacker Weston Johnson, defensive end Maurice Lucas, defensive end Emmanuel Stephens, guard Jose Valdez and linebacker Bear Woods. The Falcons also waived-injured wide receiver Brandyn Harvey.

Let's break this down, after the jump.

WHO GOT CUT

Dan Klecko, DT/FB: Hardly a surprise. A veteran with versatility, he didn't have enough left in the tank to stick at the end.

Brett Romberg and Blake Schlueter, Cs: Joe Hawley is the safety of the future. Romberg was no longer needed, and the team decided to cut bait. Schlueter's a versatile lineman who may land on the practice squad.

Robbie Agnone and Keith Zinger, TEs: As expected, the middling Agnone and pure blocking tight end Zinger were on the chopping block. Zinger may land on the practice squad, while Agnone will ply his trade elsewhere.

Troy Bergeron, Ryan Wolfe, Andy Strickland, Brandyn Harvey, Tim Buckley, WRs: Despite getting extensive run, none of these guys were going to make the final roster over Brian Finnerand Eric Weems. Wolfe and Strickland may get practice squad invites.

Dmitri Nance, RB: Almost certainly a practice squad candidate after a quality showing this pre-season. We'll see the Rushin' Russian again someday.

Dominique Daniels, CB: No surprise here. Daniels was signed to provide depth during the pre-season.

Rafael Bush and Eric Brock, S: Brock's a borderline talent with special teams value. Bush is an intriguing if raw prospect who is ticketed for the practice squad.

Bear Woods and Weston Johnson, LBs: We all love Bear Woods, but he still needs time to develop. He'll end up on the practice squad if no one else snatches him away. Johnson's a borderline talent at best.

Emmanuel Stephens and Maurice Lucas, DEs: Neither were going to make it. The Falcons have depth and talent at defensive end, and these guys provide little value.

Jose Valdez, G: A big project lineman, Valdez needs several coats of polish. If he ends up on the practice squad, he's a guy to watch for the long-term.

Chevis Jackson, CB: For me, the biggest surprise of the day. Jackson had a poor pre-season that probably sealed his fate, but Brian Williams could barely get on the field. Jackson will land elsewhere as a hybrid safety/corner, I expect. The Ravens may have interest.

WHO MADE IT

Vance Walker and Trey Lewis, DTs: Vance Walker is an all-around tackle with developing skills. Long-term, he projects as a valuable reserve lineman with the ability to get into the backfield. The hulking Lewis took huge strides forward this off-season and looks like a potential monster out there. He could get significant snaps in clear running situations, or when the Falcons are matched up against smaller lineman that he can simply roll over on his way to the quarterback.

Joe Hawley and Rob Bruggerman, C/OL: Kind of a no-brainer. Hawley looks tough as nails and is the center of the future after Todd McClure retires. He may see some time at guard this season, too. Bruggeman's a guy that offers size and some nastiness as a reserve, and he can play outside or in if needed.

Michael Palmer, TE: After watching this guy in pre-season, I believe we have something potentially special on our hands. He's got great instincts in the passing game and looks like he'll be coachable as a blocker. Our long-term backup tight end, and he may even see some time as a starter down the line. For now, he's simply quality depth.

Brian Finneran and Eric Weems, WRs: No big surprise here. I don't believe Finn offers a lot at this stage in his career, but he'll be called upon to play outside against the Steelers. Weems is a developing returner who could be a very, very valuable player if he can put it together as a receiver.

Antone Smith, RB: As anticipated, the speedy Smith did enough in pre-season to lock up a roster spot. He's a poor bet to do much unless the team suffers an injury at the position, but they'll continue to develop him in the hopes that he's the long-term answer for Jerious Norwood. Watch him closely this season.

Brian Williams and Dominique Franks, CBs: Williams probably isn't any more talented than Chevis Jackson, but he had the advantage of being unable to get on the field and prove that. With Jackson gone, he'll serve as the Falcons' fourth cornerback and a steadying presence for the younger guys. Franks makes it based on his vast potential. If he flattens out his learning curve a little bit, he could be competing for nickel snaps by 2011.

William Moore and Shann Schillinger, Ss: Moore showed the ability to stack furniture that we've all being hoping for. He'll be a force against the run this year, and he'll be breathing down Erik Coleman's neck all year. Schillinger looks like a guy worth watching, and has a very well-rounded skill set.

Lawrence Sidbury, DE: Duh.

Coy Wire and Spencer Adkins, LBs: Wire makes it as a special teams player and a capable enough veteran linebacker. Adkins makes it because he's freakishly athletic, and the Falcons are betting he'll start putting it together in 2010. Look for both to offer a lot of value on special teams.

Robert James, LB: This one's a huge surprise. I thought for sure that James' brush with PEDs would harm his chances of making the roster, but he looked awfully tough picking up a sack against the Jaguars. He'll also provide special teams value.

Mike Johnson, G: The guy's a future starter. No chance he was going to be off the team.

Matt Bryant, K: At least for now, Bryant's job is safe. He'll look to put a bad pre-season behind him and focus on nailing field goals within 40 yards. Beyond that, the Falcons may be more aggressive on fourth downs or simply turn kicks over to Michael Koenen.

Now that you know, discuss the roster.

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