Agent Chad Speck of Allegiant Athletic Agency tweeted this morning that the Falcons had informed him that they would be releasing his client, offensive tackle Tyson Clabo. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the move will be designated a post-June 1 release to clear more cap space.
Clabo had three years left on his contract, and was set to count $6.05 million against this year’s salary cap. He received a $4 million signing bonus as part of the five-year deal he signed back in the summer of 2011, as well as a $3 million option bonus that was paid last year. The remaining prorated part of his signing bonus counts $800,000 per season, while the option bonus was prorated over four years at $750,000 per season. Due to the post-June 1 designation, only one-year’s worth of bonus will be accelerated to this year’s cap as dead money, meaning the Falcons will only have to carry $1.55 million and save $4.5 million against the 2013 cap. The remainder of the accelerated unpaid bonus ($3.1 million) will count as dead money towards the 2014 cap next year.
With Clabo departing, 2012 third round pick Lamar Holmes and 2010 third round pick Mike Johnson become the most likely candidates to serve as his successor. Johnson took over for an injured Will Svitek last year as the team’s swing tackle and top reserve at the position. Holmes got limited reps after missing part of the off-season with a foot injury.
Clabo first entered the league in 2004 as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos out of Wake Forest. He spent time on the practice squads of the Broncos, New York Giants, and San Diego Chargers as a rookie. When cut by the Broncos at the outset of the 2005 season, he was added to the Falcons practice squad before making the team outright in 2006. That year, he started 10 games predominantly at right guard as an injury replacement for Kynan Forney. The following season in 2007, he started 11 games at right tackle as an injury replacement for Todd Weiner. He would land the full-time starting right tackle gig in 2008 with the arrival of Mike Smith, as Weiner moved to fill in at left tackle. Since 2008, Clabo has not missed a game at the position in five seasons. Dating back to 2007, he has made 91 consecutive starts at the position. In 2010, his performance led to him being voted to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement.