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Falcons roster cuts: Three winners and three losers from the first round of cuts

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Who wins and who loses with the initial round of cuts?

Houston Texans v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Now that the cut deadline has officially passed, we’re staring at a new Falcons 75 man roster. It’s only going to remain an official 75 man roster for like five days, but hey, we still have winners and losers to note.

Winners

Nordly Capi

A huge, huge winner. Capi came in as a free agent signing competing in a crowded defensive end field, but with Ivan McLennan and Brandon Williams gone, his chief UDFA competition for a practice squad spot has essentially evaporated. The roster looks pretty set, but the Falcons will probably want a couple of defensive linemen to develop, and Capi has had impressive moments this preseason.

J.D. McKissic

To make the final roster, McKissic would need to be considered a return option and a decent enough receiver to justify a role, in the Devin Hester/Eric Weems role. With Corey Washington swapping to cornerback, Devin Fuller injured and potentially needing surgery, and the Falcons trimming Jordan Leslie off the roster, McKissic has the best possible path to a job he could have anticipated. I don’t think he winds up making it, even so, but the opportunity is here for him to seize if he plays well Thursday night.

Matt Simms

The veteran quarterback had one impressive preseason performance, and has effectively pushed Sean Renfree off the roster thanks to his practice squad eligibility and decent skillz. The Falcons are only likely to carry two quarterbacks, but a practice squad spot should be there for Simms.

Losers

Terron Ward

A surprise Brandon Wilds cut would’ve gone a long way toward indicating Ward’s standing with the team, as unlikely as those were, but his continued presence (and likely lengthy playing time against Jacksonville) gives Wilds a legitimate shot to push Ward off the roster, even with Cyrus Gray gone. Ward simply hasn’t been healthy enough to fight for his job.

Levine Toilolo

Again, reading the tea leaves here, Toilolo shouldn’t feel great about the fact that the Falcons didn’t cut ties with Josh Perkins or D.J. Tialavea in this first round. Perkins has been an impressive pass catcher this summer and Tialavea has legitimately looked better than Toilolo blocking, so his roster spot appears to be in real danger.

Demarcus Van Dyke

He has been a roster longshot for a long time now, true, but the Falcons could’ve clarified the picture at cornerback in a way that was more favorable to Van Dyke if C.J. Goodwin or Brian Poole had been on the chopping block in the first round of cuts. Instead, Van Dyke and Devonte Johnson are probably gone.