The writing has been on the wall for Thomas DeCoud since the 2013 season ended. The veteran free safety had easily the worst year of his career, and with the Falcons realizing about $3 million in cap savings by releasing him, it was virtually an inevitability the team would choose to go in a different direction at the position.
While we still don't know precisely when it will happen, Adam Caplan put a hard deadline on it today on the NFL Insiders show on ESPN. In case you're wondering what the broadcast was, here's a few quick details. Hat tip to our own Caleb Rutherford for alerting us to the broadcast:
ESPN's NFL Insiders wraps up its live coverage from #NFLCombine now w/ Suzy Kolber, Bill Polian, @McShay13 and @caplannfl.— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) February 25, 2014
@SteveInBrooklyn: Expected before his $2.25 M base guarantee kicks in.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 25, 2014
As you can see above, Caplan told friend of The Falcoholic @SteveinBrooklyn that he expects DeCoud to be released before March 15, when his base salary would become guaranteed. The Falcons realize $3 million in savings, as I mentioned, and could potentially be over $30 million in cap space if the optimistic projections for the NFL salary cap come to pass. It would likely be the last major cut off the offseason, or at least until after the 2014 NFL Draft.
If this comes to pass—and I have to believe it will—DeCoud's Atlanta career will end on a sour note. He was the team's starting free safety for five seasons, turning in one stellar, turnover-filled year, a couple of average to above average ones and last year's train wreck. Along the way, he has been a fun presence and a trash-talking ballhawk on a fairly muted team. I want the Falcons to upgrade on the position, but I don't think DeCoud's contributions should go unrecognized.
When do you think DeCoud will be released?