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Falcons cut ties with defensive tackle Joe Vellano after signing Sean Weatherspoon

Goodnight, sweet Vellano.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Vellano stepped in late last season, including in the Super Bowl against New England, and played some productive snaps for this football team. When he made the practice squad this fall, it was fair to wonder if he’d end up staying there the rest of the season, but the Ra’Shede Hageman release and Courtney Upshaw’s injury ensured that didn’t happen.

This time around, pressed into action as essentially the third defensive tackle, Vellano delivered a couple of decent performances, but by and large was an active liability against the run, part of a team-wide problem in that regard. With Ahtyba Rubin in the fold and the Falcons needing to find a roster spot for the newly-signed Sean Weatherspoon at linebacker, they’ve waived Vellano. I’m not yet sure whether he’ll make it back to the practice squad or not, given that the Falcons now have Joel Ivie and Taniela Tupou at defensive tackle on that squad already.

If this is it for Vellano in Atlanta, I’ll wish him well and thank him for filling in when the team really needed him. I’m hopeful Atlanta will have a much better run defense going forward, regardless of whether Vellano returns.