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Spare a kind thought for the players cut by the Falcons today

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It’s a fraught day for hundreds of players.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Minicamp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

You have worked your entire life to become an NFL player. Before the sun was up and long after it went down, you studied and practiced and kicked your own ass in pursuit of a dream. Other cliches happened, too.

Now you’re close to the pinnacle of your profession. You’re vying for a roster spot with the Atlanta Falcons, a team that looks really great this year despite decades of crushing disappointment. And then, despite your lifelong efforts, you don’t make the cut. You bounce around to a few other teams over the next couple of years, scrabbling up an impossibly slippery slope, and then you’re out of the league. The league you worked your entire life to get into it won’t take you.

I’m sure this sounds dramatic, but it is the reality for many of the players the Falcons are cutting this weekend. We’ve all faced career disappointments, but for many of the players who find themselves looking for new teams this weekend, an entirely new career (or at least an entirely new league) lie ahead. There is nothing in this life that engenders anxiety and fear quite like the unknown, as I’m sure everyone here would agree.

I don’t have anything profound or life-changing to say, here. The Falcons will trim down to a 53 man roster and 11 man practice squad, and we’ll spend a lot of time talking about that, as we always do. I just want you to keep in mind that this is not a happy day for the players the Falcons are cutting, and it’s not a happy day for hundreds of players across the NFL. They deserve, at the very least, a moment of sympathy on a day like today.