Coming off consecutive losing seasons and armed with an overhauled coaching staff, many were expecting an offseason of transition for the Falcons. Just how much change that will involve could become more apparent tomorrow.
Per WSB's Zach Klein:
Per Source, #Falcons cuts coming tomorrow and RB Steven Jackson will be one of the players let go— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 27, 2015
News of Jackson's release has already been confirmed by the team via the Falcons' official Twitter account. There have been no reports of who will be joining him just yet, but there are a handful of veteran players on the roster who have the potential to become salary cap casualties.
For those in need of a quick refresher, here are a few names that come to mind:
- Offensive guard Justin Blalock, who would seem ill-suited for Kyle Shanahan's zone blocking scheme, is 31 years old and has two years left on his current contract. Cutting him now would save the Falcons $3.79 million in cap space this season and $6.15 million in 2016.
- Wide receiver Harry Douglas has spent all seven of his NFL seasons in a Falcons uniform and comes off a 51-catch, 556-yard performance in 2014. But at 30 years old and part of an already aging corps of wide receivers, Atlanta could part ways with the Louisville product and save $3.5 million in cap space.
- Defensive end Tyson Jackson, though less than one year removed from signing a five-year deal with Atlanta, was underwhelming in his first season with the Falcons and may not fit into Dan Quinn's vision for the defense. However, the Falcons would also be responsible for a significant amount of dead money (around $16 million) were they to release him.
- Offensive tackle Sam Baker still has four years left on his infamous contract extension, but a lousy combination of injury and ineffectiveness could force the team's hand when it comes to keeping the former first-round pick around -- especially with young talents such as Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder already in the fold. Like Jackson, Baker would still be owed a hefty sum of money if he gets the axe.
- Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux is a fan favorite and comes off an above-average season. But he's also 33 years old, and his release would create roughly $4.486 million in cap space for the Falcons over the next two seasons.
These are the players with question marks over the heads. Soon enough, we should at least have answers for some of them. Your thoughts?