League rules mandate that teams begin to reduce to their rosters to the maximum limit of 75 as teams eventually work their way to their regular season limit of 53 players. The Falcons made a pair of moves over the weekend by cutting tackle Mark Ortmann and defensive back Gabe Derricks. And today the Falcons announced more moves by releasing defensive tackle Thomas Johnson and safety Matt Giordano.
Ortmann and Derricks were undrafted rookies, while Johnson and Giordano were veterans. Johnson signed with the team last season and after an injury to Peria Jerry became the starter at defensive tackle. He wound up starting 10 of 13 games, recording 20 tackles and 2 sacks. But this summer, he has been slowed by injuries missing the last two preseason contests. Giordano was one of the team’s few free agent signings this off-season. But he missed the preseason opener and then struggled in the followup game against New England. With a healthy William Moore and promising rookie Shann Schillinger, his chances of making the roster became slim.
The Falcons will have to make more moves by Saturday afternoon, when they must get their roster down to 53 players and then set their practice squad before they open the season on September 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.