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Tevin Coleman will head to free agency, per Dan Quinn

The team finally confirms what has been evident for a long time.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images

It has been obvious for some time that the Falcons cannot afford to keep Tevin Coleman with all their contracts coming up and their relative strength at running back. Even if Coleman hits free agency, the Falcons will have a healthy Devonta Freeman, promising Ito Smith, and useful Brian Hill around, and could still use one of their nine selections on a back if they really wanted to add depth.

The only surprise throughout this process is that the Falcons haven’t been willing to acknowledge that seemingly obvious fact, but today Dan Quinn finally did so in his Combine press conference.

Coleman’s value to this Falcons offense is obvious. He’s a sometimes lethal receiving threat and home run hitter with fantastic speed and, when all goes well, power and guile. He’s always struggled with balance and has long been a boom or bust runner, prone to going for negative yardage as often as positive plays. For all that, he was a great complement to Freeman and, when called upon, a fine starter who gave the Falcons a lot over the last four seasons. We’ll certainly miss him, and some team is going to be lucky to add him to their corps.

The Falcons will be fine, though. They could ill afford to spring $4-5 million per year for Coleman with contracts upcoming for Grady Jarrett, Julio Jones, Deion Jones, and more, and even with some questions about Free’s health, Smith looks like a tremendous replacement for him. We’ll hope Atlanta doesn’t miss a beat.