The Falcons will be looking for a new free safety this offseason.
Falcons Pro Bowl safety Thomas Decoud to be released by 4 pm EST, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
So a matter of minutes.
The DeCoud cut frees up $3 million in cap space, with $1.8 million in dead money left on the 2014 team salary cap. This was perhaps the most inevitable move of the entire 2014 offseason after DeCoud suffered through a miserable 2013 season with the Falcons in what was essentially a prove-it year. The Falcons will likely use the saved salary cap space to chase a free agent replacement, shoring up a secondary that was otherwise a bright spot for Atlanta last year.
Some team will gladly give DeCoud a contract in the hopes that he'll regain his ballhawking form down the line. Iffy angles and questionable coverage was always a part of the package with the veteran safety, but the turnovers and big plays helped mitigate that. Without them, 2013 stands out as easily the worst year of his career, but he'll be just 29 years old this season and should land a free agent deal with a chance to start elsewhere. If he can get the turnovers flowing, he should be an asset again for another team.
DeCoud finishes up his six year career in Atlanta with 375 tackles, 3 sacks, 28 pass deflections and 14 interceptions over 89 games. While unfortunately his 2013 season will be what many fans remember, DeCoud had a couple of quality years and was an exciting player and great locker room presence during better times. We wish him well, wherever he lands.
Stay tuned, as we'll have a career retrospective sometime tomorrow. Weigh in on the release here.