A pair of intriguing free agent options have just become available.
Needing to shed some salary to free-up cap space, the Atlanta Falcons are cutting a pair of veteran defensive starters in Asante Samuel and Stephen Nicholas:
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) February 5, 2014
The Falcons are in the midst of figuring out what went wrong in the 2013 season. After having Super Bowl aspirations, the Falcons fell to being one of the worst teams in the NFL this season.
Now, instead of looking to keep their veteran corps. of players intact, they appear ready to embark on a bit of a youth movement and shed the contract of aging players like Samuel and Nicholas.
$4.5 million cap savings for Falcons with release of Samuel. $2 millon savings with letting go of Nicholas.
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 5, 2014
Samuel looked likely to be released ever since the offseason began. The veteran cornerback was plagued with injuries this season and two young rookies, Robert Alford and Desmund Trufant emerged in his place.
He played in just 11 games and grabbed one interception. His days as a starter are probably done, but he could still be a valuable veteran backup for the right price.
Nicholas has agreed to a five-year contract worth $17.5 million in 2011 to remain entrenched as the team’s starting strongside linebacker.
But offseason sports hernia surgery helped limit him to 14 games and just three starts in 2013 while registering 35 combined tackles and one sack.