The Atlanta Falcons announced the signing of running back Cyrus Gray today, filling the last remaining spot on their 90-man training camp roster limit. A vacancy was created when wide receiver Lance Moore retired earlier in the week.
Gray adds depth at the running back position for the Falcons with third-string tailback Terron Ward currently nursing an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out for an indefinite amount of time.
Gray is a fourth-year running back that spent his first three seasons in the NFL as a rarely used backup running back with the Kansas City Chiefs, who drafted him out of Texas A&M in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
In three years with the Chiefs, Gray carried the ball 24 times for 99 yards (4.1 avg) and a touchdown, while catching nine passes for an additional 64 yards. He also returned a pair of kickoffs for 33 yards and served as a valuable component of the Chiefs’ special teams units over the years.
Gray suffered a torn ACL in his knee in November 2014, and was cut by the Chiefs the following summer at the outset of training camp. He sat out 2015 but was signed by the Denver Broncos to a futures contract following the season, but was released by that team last month.
Gray was a productive running back during his final two seasons at Texas A&M, combining for 2,178 yards on 398 carries (5.5 avg) and 24 touchdowns. He also caught 65 passes for 490 receiving yards and four more touchdowns during that span. Early in his collegiate career he served as the Aggies’ kickoff returner, scoring twice during his freshman and sophomore seasons, while averaging 23.8 yards per return.
While in Kansas City, Gray also served as that team’s personal protector on the punt team. That is notable given the possibility that the Falcons may be looking to move on from wide receiver Eric Weems, who has served in that same capacity in Atlanta for the past two seasons. The only other player currently on the Falcons roster with experience in an NFL game in that role is starting free safety Ricardo Allen. According to Over the Cap, the Falcons can free up $935,000 in 2016 cap space if they release Weems.