Just like the Atlanta Hawks did last year, it appears as though the Atlanta Falcons are clearing some cap space for the possibility of bringing in some new high-priced free agents.
Earlier today, the Atlanta Falcons released running back Michael Turner. That move wasn’t a surprise, given that 2012 was Turner’s poorest production season as a member of the Falcons and was set to earn almost $7 million in 2013. What is a shocker is the other two Falcons who were cut: defensive end and 2012 team leader in sacks John Abraham, as well as cornerback Dunta Robinson.
The three cuts will free up about $16 million for the team which was within 10 yards of reaching this year’s Super Bowl. There are a couple of ideas of who the Falcons may go after with the extra cap space.
First the obvious, while tight end Tony Gonzalez hasn’t said if he’s retiring yet, if he decides to return, a good chunk of that freed up money would probably go to Gonzalez, who made about $7 million last season.
To replace Abraham, Atlanta might be interested in former Indianapolis Colt Dwight Freeney. Freeney was recently cut by the Colts and Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White tweeted the team should go after Dwight.
To replace Robinson, Atlanta might be able to trade for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. It’s known throughout the league that Revis isn’t happy with his role in New York and is looking for a new team.
Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said the focus on the off-season would be re-signing their own players, specifically left tackle Sam Baker and safety William Moore. Both men had career years in 2012.
Through the official Falcons Twitter account, Dimitroff explained the team's decisions simply. “These moves were business decisions,” Dimitroff said through the account of a team employee. “Made to let us look at the direction of the football team. There are a lot of moving parts.”
Stay tuned, during the weekend I'll post a reaction piece on the three newest ex-Falcons.