Daily Archives: February 16, 2008

NFL News: Falcons No More

This turn of events will most likely be a blow to Alge Crumpler fans.

Falcons release Crumpler, Leftwich, five others

Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons released four-time Pro Bowl tight end Alge Crumpler and six other players Friday in the first step of a major rebuilding job in the post-Michael Vick era.

The Falcons also cut quarterback Byron Leftwich, defensive tackle Rod Coleman, offensive tackle Wayne Gandy, cornerback Lewis Sanders, wide receiver Jamin Elliott and linebacker Marcus Wilkins.

“This is a difficult day for the entire organization,” said Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons’ new general manager. “A number of these players have contributed to this organization on and off the field at a high level, and we greatly appreciate their efforts.”

None contributed more than Crumpler, one of the team’s most respected players and a leader in the locker room. He twice led the Falcons in receptions and had a streak of four straight Pro Bowl appearances from 2003-06.

But Crumpler was plagued by knee problems this past season and dropped off to 44 receptions. Also, he counted $5.1 million against the salary cap for 2008, money the Falcons felt could be better spent elsewhere.

“These decisions weren’t easy, but we felt they were necessary to build a team in the long-term best interest of the Falcons and its fans,” Dimitroff said.

The Falcons also cut Coleman, who played sparingly in 2007 after injuring himself on a personal watercraft during the last offseason. Before that, he had been one of the NFL’s most dominating interior linemen, making the Pro Bowl in 2005.

“As a football coach it is never easy to cut any player, especially veteran players who have been valuable members of the organization,” said new coach Mike Smith, who was hired last month.

 

 

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pic cred: falcons.com