Godfrey Retires While Falcons Add Two to Roster

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsCharles Godfrey (left)

The Atlanta Falcons helped fill two of their open training-camp roster spots by signing tight end Arthur Lynch and wide receiver Corey Washington. The team also announced that safety Charles Godfrey is retiring after eight seasons in the NFL.

Lynch, 26, was a fifth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 NFL Draft and missed his rookie season with a back injury. He was cut last August by the Dolphins and was with the New York Jets briefly before the start of the regular season. Lynch spent the rest of 2015 on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad before being cut in December.

Lynch played at the University of Georgia where he earned All-SEC honors as a senior with a career-high 30 catches for 459 yards (15.3 avg) and five touchdowns.

Washington, 24, was originally signed as an undrafted rookie out of Newberry by the Arizona Cardinals in 2014, but lasted just two weeks before he was waived and scooped up by the New York Giants. He made the Giants roster, appearing in 14 games that season mostly on special teams. But he also caught five passes for 52 yards (10.4 avg) and a touchdown.

After being cut by the Giants last summer, he spent two weeks on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad before finishing 2015 on the practice squad of the Detroit Lions. Washington was cut by the Lions in June after suffering an undisclosed injury.

Washington began his collegiate career at Georgia Military College before transferring to Newberry, where he combined for 95 catches for 1,615 yards (17.0 avg) and 22 touchdowns over his final two seasons.

Godfrey, 30, was originally a third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers out of Iowa in 2008. During his college career, he played both cornerback and safety. He started 72 games at both safety positions through his first five professional years in Carolina, recording 11 interceptions and 31 passes defended in that span. He missed most of 2013 with a torn Achilles tendon injury and then was moved to nickel cornerback in 2014. After seven games of poor play, Godfrey was cut.

Afterward being cut, the Falcons signed him and Godfrey played in five games on special teams. He was re-signed by the Falcons in the offseason to a one-year deal and was expected to compete for the starting free safety spot. But he lost the competition to Ricardo Allen.

Godfrey started 2015 on the Falcons roster, but was cut last September to make room for offensive tackle Jake Long. He was re-signed, cut and then re-signed again before the end of the 2015 season. He finished the year with eight appearances, logging 12 tackles and one forced fumble.

The Falcons will likely place Godfrey on the reserve/retired list, freeing up another available roster spot. The Falcons will then have two spots remaining before fulfilling the 90-man limit for training camp rosters.

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Aaron Freeman
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