The Atlanta Falcons are gearing up for the regular season, but they still have some tough decisions to make before they settle on their initial 53 man roster. Several roster cuts rolled in yesterday. Let’s take a quick look at those cuts and why talk about why they could matter going forward.
RB Malik Williams (injury settlement)
Williams singlehandedly made the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins worth watching. His third quarter shoulder injury was pretty heartbreaking, if you put it in context. The injury settlement doesn’t necessarily rule out a future relationship between the Falcons and Williams, who was arguably headed for the practice squad. (Depending on the terms of the injury settlement, the Falcons could actually re-sign him later this season.)
WR Christian Blake
Blake had long shot odds of making this team, and the Northern Illinois product never really helped his cause during the preseason. The Falcons are stacked at wide receiver, which means we’re likely to forget Blake’s name sooner rather than later.
C/G Jamil Douglas
We heard some chatter about Douglas booting Sean Harlow from the roster, but that’s not how it played out. Notwithstanding an occasional flash or two during preseason practices, Douglas couldn’t show the coaching stuff enough to earn a spot on the 53 man roster.
G Sean Harlow
The former fourth round pick is officially unemployed. Yikes. I don’t know if the Falcons are completely done with Harlow, but his transition to guard over the past 18 months certainly didn’t go as planned.
G Salesi Uhatafe
Uhatafe had to thread a needle to make this team. He’s a big boy and there’s some raw talent there, but he’s just not NFL ready at this juncture.
T Austin Pasztor
Pasztor is a capable offensive lineman with plenty of game experience, but he’s on the decline and the Falcons understandably decided to part ways. The Falcons have a deep offensive line, and Pasztor unfortunately found himself on the outside looking in.
DE Anthony Winbush
Winbush couldn’t overcome a lack of size and pure athleticism in his pursuit of an NFL roster spot. He’s just scrappy enough to find a way onto a practice squad, be it with the Atlanta Falcons or another NFL team. I wouldn’t forget his name yet.
DE J’Terius Jones
Jones found his way onto the practice squad last season. Don’t be surprised if he does it again this season. Setting aside a decidedly mediocre preseason, I can’t see the Falcons giving up on him ... yet.
CB Leon McFadden (injury settlement)
The journeyman cornerback doesn’t appear to be in the Falcons’ plans for 2018. He was facing an uphill battle given the stacked cornerback depth chart anyway.
S Ron Parker
Cutting Parker is a bit of a head scratcher for me. In Parker the Falcons had a dependable, proven safety who wasn’t in his prime but could’ve contributed nonetheless. Right or wrong, a lackluster preseason sunk Parker’s opportunity to make this team. One wonders whether he just needed a little more time to get up to speed. For now the Falcons will move forward with Jordan Richards as their fourth safety.
The cuts will keep coming and we’ll be here to bring you the latest. For now let’s talk about yesterday’s cuts. Any big surprises? Any guys the Falcons may look to keep around? Discuss!