Some huge news landed yesterday, with the Falcons kicking off their first series of offseason cuts. We dive into that and more in today’s edition of Falcoholinks.
Moving on from Money
A stunner for sure, but Matt Bryant is out in Atlanta. After rebuffing any retirement rumors via his Twitter account, Bryant followed it up Wednesday morning with the announcement that he’d been cut.
This one definitely hurts, as Matt Bryant’s leg has led the team to many a key victory. The franchise’s all-time leading scorer, Bryant’s legacy is embedded throughout the Atlanta Falcons’ DNA. He will be sorely, sorely missed.
So now the team turns to Giorgio Tavecchio, Matt Bryant’s heir apparent. Tavecchio was brought on board when Matt Bryant was injured last year and made some spectacular, game-winning kicks, so Atlanta chose to keep him on the squad even as Bryant returned to full health. Unless something comes way out of left field, the job is his in 2019.
We’ve identified Robert Alford as a primary cut candidate for quite some time, and on Tuesday evening that likely possibility became a reality. After six seasons donning the red and black, Alford became the first cap casualty of Atlanta’s offseason.
Robert Alford lifted his level of play in the wake of Desmond Trufant’s injury in 2016 and followed it up with a terrific 2017, but this past year was hands down the worst of his career. His decline coupled with his price tag against dead cap losses made him a fairly obvious choice for release, and puts the team in line to save $7.9 million in the upcoming season.
With the Falcons’ forthcoming cut of Robert Alford, it means that 2018 second-rounder Isaiah Oliver will be given the full opportunity to start on the outside.
Alford gave us some truly memorable moments during his time in Atlanta, and we certainly wish him the best wherever he ends up next.
Cutting The Hair
Yep, another Wednesday cut. The Falcons will be down a number of spin moves and one glorious mane next season as they’ve elected to release veteran defensive end Brooks Reed. Reed joined Atlanta in 2015 as a free agent acquisition from Houston, signing a five-year, $22 million deal. With his release, the Falcons have now added to their available 2019 cap by saving $4.5 million.
Best of luck, Brooks.
Don’t Get Greedy
I’ve already read enough mock drafts that at times I feel like my head is going to spin off, but a recent development has me particularly perturbed: the prospect of the Falcons drafting a cornerback with the 14th overall pick.
This has been grinding the gears of The Falcoholic’s Kevin Knight, as well, and he’s out with a strong argument against Atlanta selecting LSU’s Greedy Williams. With the glaring needs on both lines and the second-round selection of Isaiah Oliver last season, it just doesn’t make much sense at all — even after Robert Alford’s release.