The Falcons cut tight end Eric Beverly today. The move is not seen as unexpected due to the team’s drafting of tight end Martrez Milner a weekend ago and that head coach Bobby Petrino has praised backup Daniel Fells.
Beverly originally came to the Falcons in 2004 to take over the left guard position, having split time at that position and center during a six-year NFL career mostly with the Detroit Lions. But an early summer injury allowed Mookie Moore to emerge in his absence as the primary candidate for that position. Upon the commencement of training camp, Beverly was moved to tight end, a position he played for three seasons at Miami of Ohio. Moore was injured early in the regular season, and Roberto Garza filled in at left guard for the remainder of the year. But when the Falcons signed free agent Matt Lehr the following spring, it ended any notions that Beverly would move back to the offensive line in Atlanta.
Beverly served exclusively as a blocking tight end, complementing the receiving skills of Pro Bowler Alge Crumpler off the bench. He did catch 1 pass this past season, but for 0 yards. Beverly’s role often functioned as a “third tackle” on the offensive line. But seemingly, in Petrino’s new offensive system, the need for such a niche is lessened.
Petrino praised Daniel Fells earlier this off-season in team workouts, and seems intent on incorporating a greater use of the H-back position than under Knapp. In March, reports of Fells’s increased involvement in the offense put writing on the wall that Beverly’s job security had lessened. The selection of Milner in the fourth round, considered one of the better blockers among this year’s tight end class provided the proverbial nail in the coffin for Beverly.