Atlanta Falcons releasing veterans Devonta Freeman and Desmond Trufant

The Atlanta Falcons will release running back Devonta Freeman and cornerback Desmond Trufant, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

With Atlanta trying to rebound from last season, it is no surprise they wanted to make changes, but this was somewhat surprising.

While Trufant has not performed as the Pro Bowler fans saw in 2015, he has still been an excellent defensive player for Falcons. Some fans believe if Trufant played in the Superbowl, the Falcons don’t blow a 28-3 lead.

Devonta Freeman’s cut was more expected by many fans around the fanbase. Since Freeman’s 2016 breakout year, he has yet to have another Pro Bowl-caliber season. 

Atlanta made Freeman the highest-paid running back in 2017 and have regretted this decision ever since. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff gained heavily criticism after rewarding Freeman with a massive payday back in 2017 right before the season started.

The team saves $3 million by cutting Freeman, but are on the books for $6 million in dead cap. 

The other issue that makes this move risky is the cap figures. In 2017 the Falcons signed Trufant to a five-year $68.5 million contract, including a $ 15 million signing bonus. His impending release carries a $10.2 million dead cap figure on the team. 

The dead cap figure is money the team still has to pay the player. Atlanta will only save $5M by cutting Trufant. 

Time will tell if the moves will help head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff survive another season.