The Falcons announced seventeen cuts today as they work their way to the league-mandated 53-man roster by 6 pm tomorrow. Most prominent among those moves were the team’s decision to cut veterans defensive end Chauncey Davis and linebacker Coy Wire.
The other players cut were: TE Marquez Branson, FB Lucas Cox, OC Paul Fenaroli, S Matt Hansen, WR Brandyn Harvey, RB Gartrell Johnson, DT Trey Lewis, DE Tom McCarthy, CB Kamaal McIlwain, OC Ryan McMahon, CB Rafael Priest, DT Kiante Tripp, S Suaesi Tuimaunei, and LB Bear Woods. The team reached an injury settlement with WR Andy Strickland as well.
The Falcons will still need to make ten more moves before Saturday’s deadline.
Davis was the longest-tenured Falcon among those players cut. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, and served as a valuable role player, appearing in every game since then. Over six seasons with the team, Davis started 26 games, recorded 174 tackles, 10 sacks, scored 2 touchdowns, blocked 2 field goals, and recovered 10 fumbles. Davis was due a base salary of $3.75 million this year, which likely played heavily in the team’s decision to cut him as they also have to get under the $120 million salary cap.
Wire joined the Falcons in 2008 after six years with the Buffalo Bills where he played both safety and linebacker. As a full-time linebacker for the Falcons, he added valuable depth at all three positions and performed well on special teams. He started 4 games in 2008 and had 19 tackles that year. He also combined for 32 tackles on special teams in the past three years.
Most of the others players released were undrafted free agents this summer. Harvey and Woods were undrafted free agents last year and spent the year on the practice squad. Strickland also was on the team’s practice squad last year, and suffered an injury in last night’s preseason finale.
Johnson was signed by the Falcons last September to add depth on their injury-plagued running back position. He finished the year with 36 yards on 10 carries in 9 games and 3 tackles on special teams.
Trey Lewis was a sixth round pick by the team in 2007 and had a promising start as a rookie, starting 5 of 9 games and recording 19 tackles and an interception before being sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. He missed all of the 2008 season after re-injuring himself during the off-season. He came back the past two years to start 2 of 9 games, recording 12 tackles in that span as a reserve defensive tackle.
Priest was an off-season addition made to the Falcons after going unsigned as an undrafted free agent in 2010.