5 Atlanta Falcons Who Must Be Kicked To The Curb Before Free Agency
Atlanta Falcons: Time To Trim The Fat
With one of the worst records in the highly-competitive NFC, the Atlanta Falcons will need to create room in the salary cap to add new players.
The Falcons struggled with the loss of Julio Jones and the nagging injuries of Roddy White throughout the year, but Matt Ryan was still able to lead the offense to a seventh-place finish among NFL teams in passing yards. The running game, however, was never able to find an identity with a banged-up Steven Jackson and an undersized Jacquizz Rodgers.
While there were a few bright spots on offense with the emergence of Harry Douglas, the defense will need a complete overhaul in 2014. With only 10 interceptions and 32 sacks, Atlanta had a very difficult time containing the attack of its opponents. To be fair, though, the regular season for the Falcons consisted of playing the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. Any team would struggle when facing those powerhouses, but the strength in the NFC is not an excuse for the Falcons to lose.
Teams will be looking to remove players who are under-performing this offseason, but a good way to clear up salary cap room is to get rid of players who don't even see the field. Having depth is important, but why shell out money to a player who never plays? The main job of several players on the Falcons only appears to be keeping the bench warm.
This team has a lot of talent, but some players just need to be released in order to make room for some new playmakers.
Here are five Atlanta Falcons who need to be kicked to the curb before free agency.
5. Chase Coffman
Chase Coffman has only played in 15 games for Atlanta between 2012 to 2013, and he only had one reception. With the retirement of Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons need to find a veteran tight end who can quickly learn the playbook. Releasing Coffman would help the Falcons free up space and money.
4. Peria Jerry
With only 5.5 sacks in five seasons, the Falcons would be wise to release the injury-riddled Peria Jerry.
3. Dominique Franks
The Falcons were known for a weak defense in 2013, and keeping Dominique Franks on the team is not worth the money. Franks has not had an interception since 2011.
2. Kevin Cone
Even though the Falcons could hold onto Kevin Cone for fairly cheap because of his exclusive free agent rights, the wide receiver is just a drain on money. He has only had one reception in three seasons with Atlanta.
1. Omar Gaither
The main focus for the Falcons in free agency and the draft has to be defensive players. Keeping players like Omar Gaither around hurts the salary cap and does nothing to help the defense improve. He had his last interception in 2007 and his last sack was in 2011.