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Falcons Cut Longtime Kicker Matt Bryant

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who has been with the team for 10 seasons, announced he would be cut on Wednesday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“I was informed last night that the team was moving on from my services and that I would be released,” Bryant wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “I want to say thank you to all (of) the fans that have stood with me and my family during our time here.”

Bryant, who will turn 44 in May, said he doesn’t plan to retire.

The Falcons can get cheaper at the position by keeping Giorgio Tavecchio, the injury replacement for Bryant last season who had field goals of 50 and 56 yards in the team’s 23-20 victory over the Giants.

The move creates $2.8 million in cap space for the Falcons.

Falcons Reportedly Set to Release Cornerback Robert Alford

The Falcons appear to be in the thinking of re-tooling their defense in 2019, and it will start with a bit of a surprise, as the team is going to release cornerback Robert Alford.

Alford started 88 games and had 10 interceptions after being a second-round draft choice back in 2013. The team will get hit with a $1.2 million cap hit upon his release, and he was to make $8.5 million in 2019.

He is most famous for picking off Tom Brady of the Pats and returning the interception for a score during the first half of Super Bowl LI two years ago.

Jalen Collins will likely get a bigger shot in the secondary as the team has been trying more to work in the former second round pick.

The Falcons Are Hopeful They Can Bring Back DT Grady Jarrett in 2019

One of, if not the biggest priorities for the Falcons this offseason will be to try and bring back defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.

He’s going to be a free agent in March, but the team is hoping they can get something done before that time.

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff told the team’s official website the hope is to get Jarrett signed before March.

“We would like to have Grady back for many years to come,” Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said.

“Not only on the field but what he does off the field for us, he’s very important. That has been our focus. We put it aside for a little bit through the season, of course, so he could focus on what he needed to focus on.

“Now, we’re back focusing on that as really our priority to see how this proceeds, and I’m confident with it.”

The Falcons spent a good deal of money on extensions for some key players as of late, including quarterback Matt Ryan, safety Ricardo Allen and left tackle Jake Matthews.

Falcons to Chat with Former Buccaneers Coach Dirk Koetter About OC Opening

The Falcons are in the market for a new offensive coordinator after firing Steve Sarkisian Monday, and could turn to a former divisional foe for the answer to their opening.

According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure the Falcons on Saturday will chat with now former Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter, who was fired on Sunday by the team.

“Dirk Koetter scheduled to interview for the Falcons’ offensive coordinator position on Saturday, according to a source. Koetter, just let go as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach, was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator from 2012-2014. Koetter’s last Falcons’ offense in 2014 averaged 378.2 yards per game (8th), 284.6 passing yards per game (5th), and 23.8 points per game (12th).

His Buccaneers’ offense this past season averaged 415.5 yards per game (3rd), 320.3 passing yards per game (1st), and 24.8 points per game (12th). Matt Ryan praised Koetter before for making him a more confident quarterback.”

Koetter was fired after going 19-29 in three seasons, and this past year went 5-11 for the Buccaneers. Last year, he went 5-11 with the team but managed to keep his position.

Sounding More and More Like Falcons Coach Dan Quinn Will Make Major Offseason Changes to His Staff

While it’s been reported over and again that the job of Falcons coach Dan Quinn is safe, it looks like the rest of his staff could be in jeopardy of losing jobs, Kevin Patra of reports.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday on Up To The Minute Live that Quinn is expected to make significant changes to the Falcons coaching staff.

“At this point…it sounds like a strong possibility that there will be significant changes to coach Dan Quinn’s coaching staff,” Pelissero said. “Now, owner Arthur Blank has already said publicly he does not think Quinn is the problem. My understanding is Dan Quinn, who got a contract extension through 2022 just last summer, absolutely is going to be back. But this is a possibility here that he could end up cleaning out both of his coordinators — that’s offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel. It would not be a surprise if they overhaul things on both sides of the ball.”

Sarkisian has been under fire from seemingly the moment he took over for Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta last year. The Falcons offense struggled mightily in the red zone in 2017 and rarely seemed in rhythm. The offense improved slightly this season under Sark, and remains in the top 10 in yards (9th) and scoring (10th).

Falcons Place Long Snapper Josh Harris on IR; Sign Joe Condo

The Falcons Wednesday placed long snapper Josh Harris, who recently signed a $3.6 million contract extension, on injured reserve, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Harris has been battling a hip/groin injury this season. The Falcons signed long snapper Joe Condo, a former two-time Pro Bowler, who’s 37.

The Falcons also promoted defensive tackle Justin Zimmer to active roster and waived safety Keith Tandy.

Falcons LB Deion Jones a ‘Full-Go’ Sunday Against Ravens

Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones will be a “full-go” for the team’s Week 13 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens according to Jason Butt of The Athletic.

Jones hurt his foot in Week 1 and has been unable to play since. His absence is one of the biggest reasons the Falcons 2018 season headed south quickly.

Head coach Dan Quinn said Jones “won’t be on a specialized snap count” at home Sunday. It’s been a few weeks coming for Atlanta’s premier man up the middle, as he was close to playing the past two games against the Cowboys and Saints. Even if less than 100%, Jones’ presence alone helps shore up the Falcons’ leaky coverage issues against opposing running backs and tight ends.

Uh Oh – Falcons Coach Dan Quinn Gets a ‘Vote of Confidence’ from Owner Arthur Blank

Falcons owner Arthur Blank gave coach Dan Quinn the ‘dreaded’ vote of confidence after Thursday’s 31-17 loss to the Saints dropped the Falcons to 4-7 and all but ended their playoff hopes, Vaughn McClure of ESPN reports.

Blank expressed total faith in Quinn, who guided the Falcons to the 2016 Super Bowl.

“Absolutely. We love our coach,” Blank told ESPN. “Our coach is not the problem.”

Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were rewarded with three-year extensions in July. They are signed through 2022.

The Falcons have been inconsistent throughout this season, starting 1-4, winning three straight to even their record, then dropping the past three games. Injuries have been an issue, with six starters placed on injured reserve, including Pro Bowlers Devonta Freeman, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones.

“It’s a reason, but it’s not an excuse,” Blank said of the injuries. “That’s what the coach would tell you. That’s what the players would tell you. There have been some crippling injuries, but other guys have stepped up and played the best they can. Some cases, that’s good enough. In some cases, not quite.”

Blank saw a simple reason behind the implosion in another loss to the rival Saints.

“I thought it was pretty obvious tonight: We had a few turnovers, which are always brutal,” Blank said. “To have four of them, it’s nearly impossible to win. And we couldn’t run the ball tonight, couldn’t stop the run. That’s the story of the game.”

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