Falcons First NFL Team To Reach 75-Player Limit With Cuts

Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsSean Renfree

The Atlanta Falcons announced several roster moves today in conjunction with cuts they made yesterday to get their roster down to the league-mandated limit of 75 players ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. Today the Falcons cut nine players: quarterback Sean Renfree, running back Gus Johnson, wide receiver Jordan Leslie, tight end Arthur Lynch, offensive guard Michael Huey, defensive end Brandon Williams, linebacker Ivan McLennan and safety Sergio Brown. Brown was the only one that was released why the others will be forced to clear waivers since they have less than four seasons of experience.

Yesterday the Falcons waived fullback Will Ratelle, wide receiver David Glidden, guard Jordan Walsh, defensive end Efe Obada and cornerback Jordan Sefon.

Renfree was the most experienced in terms of his tenure with the Falcons, having been selected by the team in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. His first professional season saw him miss time with a season-ending shoulder injury suffered during the preseason. But in 2014, he landed the third quarterback role and then eventually won the backup position last summer in a battle with veteran T.J. Yates.

With the Falcons expected to play starter Matt Ryan for a portion of their preseason finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, Renfree would have been hard-pressed to see the field as the team attempts to juggle more than the three remaining quarterbacks. Renfree’s release also gives fellow reserve Matt Simms an opportunity to win the third quarterback spot behind Ryan and backup Matt Schaub.

Johnson and Leslie both spent time on the Falcons practice squad last season. Both players entered the league as undrafted rookie free agents in 2015 with the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, respectively.

Lynch and Huey were relatively late additions to the Falcons roster before training camp. Lynch was signed on the first day of camp to supplement the team’s tight end depth while Huey was signed in early June to bolster the offensive line.

Williams and McLennan were undrafted rookies signed by the Falcons this past offseason.

Brown was the team’s most recent signing prior to cuts, having joined the team a week ago to shore up safety depth in light of the injury to Kemal Ishmael. Brown saw limited action in Thursday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Ratelle, Glidden, Walsh and Sefon were undrafted rookies signed by the team at various points since the 2016 NFL Draft. Walsh was the most recent addition, joining the team less than two weeks ago. He initially was brought to May minicamp for tryouts but failed to earn a roster invite then.

Obada was a project that the Falcons added at the start of training camp, having only began playing football in 2014 in the United Kingdom.

Besides Brown, all 13 of the players the Falcons released this weakend should be eligible for their 10-man practice squad which will be set on September 4.

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Aaron Freeman
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