Falcons receive cap relief

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Tyson Clabo's salary is finally coming off the books for Atlanta. How much money do they have to work with now?

The Atlanta Falcons announced the release of Tyson Clabo on April 4, but they took advantage of a league rule that allows teams to designate players for a post-June 1 cut. Now that we've reached the date, the Falcons are receiving $4.5 million in cap space from Clabo's salary.

I'll let Ian Rapoport of NFL.com explain how it all works.

It's a valuable cap-saving tool; teams can spread out the salary-cap hits of a recently released player over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, instead of taking the cap hit all at once. The flip side? The salary remains on the books until June 1. Those 10 teams will receive new cap space on June 2. It also means they will carry "dead" cap money into 2014.

Cap space is extremely tight right now. Atlanta is around $1.9 million under the cap, which isn't enough to sign the remaining rookies. Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will cost over $2 million. "The 2012 salary-cap slots for players taken in Trufant ($1.469 million), Alford ($608,000) and Renfree's ($11,000) spots add up to $2.08 million," said D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC.

With Clabo's contract freeing up some room, the Falcons can also focus on signing another free agent, if that is still the plan. Richard Seymour continues to be linked, and some analysts believe he will be signed with the $4.5 million coming back.

Throw in Matt Ryan's contract talks, and the Falcons could be looking at plenty of room to work with. Do you think they make a move now that Clabo's salary isn't straining the cap?

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