According to NFL.com's Jason LaCanfora, Erik Coleman might be rollin' out the door as early as today.
It's unfortunate, really. Coleman was never exactly a savior at safety, but he was a brick wall against the run and started all 16 games for the Falcons in 2008-09. With William Moore coming on and proving to be the far more explosive option, Coleman lost his job early in 2010 and, with his salary set to escalate to $3 million, is an awfully expensive insurance policy at a position where teams value cheap, young players.
If Coleman is released, I'd like to first wish him well. I imagine he'll land on his feet somewhere. Then I'd like to ponder how the Falcons will replace the guy.
C4 and Thomas DeCoud are locked in as starters at this point, so that leaves two backup positions to fill. Shann Schillinger looked fine in limited action and has value as a special teamer, so we can safely pencil him in behind DeCoud. Behind Moore, the Falcons could sign a guy like Haruki Nakamura of the Ravens, keep promising practice squadder Rafael Bush on the active roster or draft a guy in the later rounds to fill the slot. Given his considerable promise, I'm willing to bet the Falcons go with Bush, though I really hope he doesn't have to play any meaningful snaps in 2011.
I'll update this post if the Falcons follow through today. Leave your thoughts in the comments.