The AJC’s Steve Wyche reports that the Falcons released starting nose tackle Grady Jackson today. No specific reasons were given why Jackson was released. The team plans to promote rookie Trey Lewis into the starting lineup.
Lewis has started two games opposite Jackson in relief of injured starter Rod Coleman and his replacement Jonathan Babineaux so far this season. Coleman returned to the lineup against the New York Giants. Lewis has played well, tallying 15 tackles and an interception in six games this year.
Jackson was embroiled in some off-season controversy involving a lawsuit filed against the Falcons. But it was resolved and Jackson received a one-year contract extension. It is unknown if this roster move stems from that or from something else more recent involving Jackson.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the lawsuit between Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson and the organization has been resolved. However, the Falcons themselves declined to comment on any specifics.
As part of the resolution it seems that Jackson received a one-year contract extension. He signed a three-year contract with the Falcons last summer and had $3 million in base salary due to him over the next two seasons. That base salary has not increased, as he will have $1 million base salaries in each year through 2009, but it is unknown if any additional signing bonus was given to him.
Update: According to Pro Football Talk.com, Grady Jackson received roughly $4.5 million in extra money as part of his contract extension.
He received a $250,000 signing bonus as part of his one-year extension and will is set to receive a $250,000 roster bonus on September 7, the Friday before the start of the regular season. He is set to receive two more roster bonuses of $2 million each at the start of both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, due in March. There also exists $1.25 million escalator provision that could be added to his future base salaries of $1 million in each 2008 and 2009.
Based off this information, Grady is set to have a cap figure of $1.375 million this year, somewhat of a reduction considering that he was set to earn $1.5 million alone in base salary based off his old contract. If the 2008 and 2009 roster bonuses are paid, he will have cap figures of $3.125 million in each year, not counting the potential for escalators.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC writes that Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson is present at the team’s three-day minicamp as expected, but is not expected to actually get action on the field due to recovery from off-season knee surgery.
The severity of Jackson’s knee injury is not exactly known, although his agent, Angelo Wright, indicated that it was not an issue in Ledbetter’s article.
Fellow starting defensive tackle Rod Coleman is also missing mini-camp, but his injury is much more severe. Coleman injured his quadriceps during draft weekend and is expected to miss 3-5 months.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson is expected to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp which starts on Friday.
Jackson is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the team over leaked reports of him failing a physical last March before signing with the Falcons in August. According to Ledbetter, the Falcons have filed a petition to get the suit thrown out of court.
Past reports indicated that Jackson planned to continue his career with the Falcons despite the legal battle, and his expected participation this weekend would seem to back that up.
Todd Korth of PackerReport.com reports that the Falcons will meet with free agent defensive tackle Kenderick Allen on Wednesday, April 18.
Allen is considered a journeyman defensive tackle, since he’s played for 3 different teams since joining the league as an undrafted free agent out of LSU in 2003. He played that year with the New Orleans Saints, starting 1 game and finishing with 11 tackles. He joined the New York Giants, and in two seasons collected 40 tackles and 3 sacks. He played this past season with the Green Bay Packers, finishing with 2 tackles in 2 games.
He is listed at 6’5″ 328 pounds and definitely would add bulk to the defensive line. The Falcons have been looking at possible replacements at the nose tackle position for incumbent Grady Jackson. Jackson has skipped off-season workouts and is currently suing the Falcons over invasion of privacy and defamation.
The Falcons have already added Anthony Bryant this off-season, and could be looking at more help prior to the draft. The team has visited with other free agent defensive tackles including Seth Payne and Ian Scott. Currently third-year pro Darrell Shropshire has been taking snaps with the first team at the nose tackle position.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC dicloses more details of Grady Jackson’s law suit against the Falcons and his future plans with the team.
Included in the suit are three team officials, including head physician Scott Gillogly, head athletic trainer Ron Medlin, and director of pro personnel Les Snead. According to the suit, Gillogly’s medical exam had unreliable results due to the fact that the equipment was not made for a player of his size. Gillogly then reported this to Medlin, who then reported to Snead, which then was reported to KFFL.com and The Sporting News, which then spread to other national media outlets.
It was reported that he failed his physical, which directly prevented his ability to garner a contract of fair market value until the Falcons were able to agree to a lesser three-year deal with him in August.
Jackson does however indicate that he would like to continue to play with the Atlanta Falcons.
Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson has filed suit against the Falcons according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC. The suit is related to allegations that the franchise released private medical information last spring. According to Jackson’s lawyer, the Falcons released personal health information in relation to possible heart issues, which constitutes an invasion of privacy and defamation.
Last spring, the Falcons attempted to sign Jackson, but reports said he had weighed 400 pounds and failed his physical. The Falcons would later sign Jackson in August, when his weight was down.
Ledbetter writes that is rare for a player to file suit against the team that he currently plays for. Team spokesman Reggie Roberts indicated that this is part of a ploy from Jackson and his agent to get a new contract.
The Falcons have been in recent talks with free agent defensive tackles and claimed Anthony Bryant off waivers earlier today. It is unknown how this potential suit will play out down the road and whether or not Jackson plans to play for the Falcons this year with the suit pending. Thus far, Jackson has been absent from the team’s off-season conditioning program.
Several sources, including the AJC, indicate that the Falcons are in the midst of negotiations with free agent defensive tackle Ian Scott, of the Chicago Bears.
Scott, a run stuffer, has been key to the success of Bears Pro Bowl linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs the past few seasons, since he is able to keep blockers off them. He entered the starting lineup in 2004, which was his best season in which he recorded 44 tackles and 2 sacks. He only started 8 games last year, partially due to the emergence Tank Johnson. He finished the year with 22 tackles.
Scott would play the nose tackle positon, a move that could potentially push starter Grady Jackson off the roster. ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli writes that the Falcons brass may be weary about potential looming weight and contract issues with Jackson, and the Denver Post even mentions him as a potential cap casualty later in the spring or summer.
Scott visited the Minnesota Vikings last week, and the Bears are still reportedly interested in retaining Scott due to Johnson’s four-month jail sentence.