The Falcons will reportedly terminate the contract of veteran guard Brandon Fusco, who joined the team as a free agent during the 2018 offseason. The move has not been confirmed by the team yet, and if confirmed, we do not know if they will designate Fusco as a post-June 1 cut or not, which will determine how much money the team saves against the cap. Either way, it’s expected to be north of $2 million.
Per this report from Howard Balzer, the move will be related to a failed physical, and would appear to be the move to bring the Falcons in line with the 90 man roster limit after adding a bunch of undrafted free agents earlier today.
Falcons terminated contract of G Brandon Fusco with designation failed physical. He started 7 games last season before being placed on injured reserve.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) April 29, 2019
If this move is confirmed, it would not be underselling it to say the writing has been on the wall for a while here. Atlanta spent big on veteran guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown earlier this offseason, adding two starting-caliber players to a position group that promised to be in flux with the arrival of new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. With Wes Schweitzer under contract, Adam Gettis also joining as a veteran depth option, and former fourth round pick Sean Harlow hanging around, the team figured to have enough guards, and unless Fusco was both healthy and a part of the team’s plans, he figured to be looking for a new team. The surprise addition of Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom with the 14th pick only made the move seem more likely.
Fusco has a steady history of starting and playing pretty well at guard, beginning with multiple years in Minnesota, moving on to San Francisco, and continuing in Atlanta before injury robbed him of more than half of his 2018 season with the Falcons. He has started 87 games since entering the NFL in 2011. His injury last year, his solid-but-unspectacular play pre-injury, and the fact that the Falcons invested in two free agents and a first round pick at the position made it clear that the team was going to make a move, and that would probably be the best thing for Fusco’s prospects of landing a starting job. He’s only 30 and there’s been no suggestion the injury will linger over the long haul.
Once he’s healthy, Fusco should have no trouble landing a gig elsewhere, and we wish him well wherever he lands. We’ll see who ends up at the guard position here in Atlanta when the dust settles, because only Lindstrom, Carpenter and Brown are locks at the moment.
Update: the Atlanta Falcons confirm they have released Fusco.