It appears Sean Weatherspoon's time in Atlanta has come to an end.
It's tough to see Weatherspoon, a former first round pick and fan favorite, depart -- especially since his potential was never realized with the Falcons. Had he stayed healthy, he could have had a special career with the team that drafted him 19th overall in 2010.
The money Weatherspoon received from the Cardinals makes this news even harder to swallow. As of Monday, the Falcons have more than $30 million in cap space. Surely they could have afforded to pay him. Alas, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement, even though Thomas Dimitroff recently said the Falcons need Weatherspoon back.
Weatherspoon's time in Atlanta was ultimately overshadowed by a slew of injuries. The Mizzou alum sat out nine games in 2013 because of foot and knee damage and missed all of 2014 with a torn Achilles. He leaves the Falcons after registering eight sacks, 292 tackles, one forced fumble and two interceptions in 47 games.
By not re-signing Weatherspoon, Atlanta's linebacker corps remains alarmingly thin. Without a doubt, Dimitroff will have to make appreciable upgrades at that position in the coming months -- otherwise, it will be difficult to field a solid defense in 2015.
The Falcons have been strongly linked to both Brooks Reed and Brian Orakpo today, though, so we'll see if they're able to land upgrades.