The Falcons news is coming out fast and furious now that the new CBA is in place, with Devonta Freeman and Ty Sambrailo cuts already in and Desmond Trufant reportedly on the verge of getting the axe. That means this particular move won’t steal headlines, but it’s still noteworthy.
Justin Hardy, who spent the past 5 seasons in Atlanta as a key reserve at receiver and played a major role on special teams over that time, will not be re-signed, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
This is not a shocking move, but I had thought there was still a real possibility the Falcons would bring Hardy back. He was a reliable 4th or 5th receiver all this time, depending on the team, and put up 95 receptions for 946 yards and 9 touchdowns in his Falcons career. He also handled 20 punts in 2018 and regularly played between 25-50% of special teams snaps over that time, making him one of those extremely useful glue guys. It should also not be ignored that he was one of the team’s better blocking receivers his entire career.
Hardy, like the other players the Falcons have cut to this point, shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new team to land with. The Falcons will roll on with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage as their top three options, with a likely rookie draft pick, Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake, and others mixing in for the 2020 season.