The Falcons have released running back Steven Jackson, wide receiver Harry Douglas, offensive guard Justin Blalock and defensive end Jonathan Massoquoi.
The moves now give the Falcons $33.250 million in available cap space, the 8th most in the NFL to spend on players this offseason.
Jackson's release had been rumored for a couple of days. Jackson had 1,250 yards in his two seasons with the Falcons. He will turn 32 this July.
The 30-year old Douglas was with the Falcons for seven seasons. He was drafted out of Louisville in the third roud of the 2008 draft. Douglas' best season was in 2013 when he had 1,067 receiving yards. Douglas had 3,130 yards in his career as the third receiver for the Falcons.
The new coaching staff obviously concluded Blalock was not a fit for the new zone blocking scheme that will be implemented. Blalock has been a stalwart on the line of scrimmage since being drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft out of Texas. He started 125 games in his eight seasons, with one game missed last season with a back injury.
Blalock is now 31 years old, and considering the flare-up in his back, the Falcons may not have been comfortable with Blalock's ability to stay healthy moving forward.
Massqquoi was a player the Falcons had high hopes for as a pass rusher, but he never reached his potential and was pretty much a role player.
The Falcons selected Massaquoi in the fifth round out of Troy in 2012. The team saved only $660,000 on the cap, which shows this was not a salary cap move. There has been talk Massaquoi had upset the previous coaching staff by complaining about a lack of playing time. He was actually benched late in the season. Bryan Cox, his defensive line coach, was retained by new coach Dan Quinn.
The Falcons are expected to be very active next week when free agency begins in the NFL.
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Falcons release four players
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