Brian Poole finished last season with career highs in both interceptions and sacks, so why on earth would the Atlanta Falcons feel the need to get rid of a guy coming off a career season?
The answer is actually quite simple. With the emergence of Damontae Kazee last season and the return of both Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen off of their respective injuries, the Falcons don’t really need Poole.
Kazee is coming off of a fantastic season that saw him record a league tying seven interceptions. He also finished third on the Falcons in tackles with 82. An opportunistic guy like Kazee is too good to be a backup.
Keanu Neal is a hard hitting safety with 8 forced fumbles on his resume, many of which were the types of hits that would make fans wince and yell “OOHH”. He was invited to the Pro Bowl in 2017 and if it weren’t for his ACL injury, he would have been invited in 2018 as well. He is the type of guy that a defensive coordinator wants to build his defense around.
Ricardo Allen, like Neal, is a valuable piece to the Falcons defense and secondary. He finished with 90 combined tackles in the 2016 season and 68 in the 2017 season. He also has seven career interceptions.
It also needs to be mentioned that the Falcons have released Brooks Reed and Robert Alford over the past few weeks. With the recent release of Poole, it seems that the Falcons are releasing guys who they believe are expendable.
Poole was inconsistent throughout the 2018 season and Falcons fans, myself included, still find it hard to forgive Poole for letting Drew Brees score the game tying touchdown that sent the game to overtime and ultimately led to a victory for the Saints in the teams week three match-up last season.
The Falcons have plenty of talent at the Safety positions with guys like Kazee, Neal and Allen. Poole is a great player, but they made the right move by letting him go.