When healthy, Keanu Neal is an absolute stud for the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, Neal has only played in 4 games the last two seasons and the Atlanta Falcons need to seriously consider letting him go because of this.
Keanu Neal has been great during his time with the Atlanta Falcons, making it to the Pro Bowl in 2017, all the while becoming a dominant force in the defensive backfield. The ferociousness behind his tackles proved that he was a dominant force that wouldn’t allow explosive plays.
The moments of “oooh” and “aah” when watching Neal light opposing players up have, sadly, been missing the last two seasons due to season-ending injuries. In 2018, it was a torn ACL that ended his season and in 2019 it was an Achilles tendon injury. It’s truly devastating to see a guy with this much talent and love for the game go down in back-to-back seasons. Watching him cry as he was carted off the field last season was a gut punch to every NFL fan, not just Atlanta Falcons fans.
The realization set in that Neal could end up with a career similar to Bob Sanders is a big reason why the organization needs to consider letting Neal go. Paying someone who is consistently hurt and never on the field is something that the Atlanta Falcons can’t afford to do. Sanders only played in 50 total regular-season games in eight seasons, which was a shame because when healthy, he was a stud, winning the defensive player of the year in 2007.
It’s hard to admit it, but Neal is going down a similar path that Sanders went down and the Atlanta Falcons have to be wary of that. If the Atlanta Falcons do cut him, they would need more depth at the safety position.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of collegiate talent coming into the NFL Draft at the safety position that the Atlanta Falcons should take a look at. The sheer amount of talent coming out of the Big Ten and SEC alone at the safety position is astonishing.
As a huge Keanu Neal fan, it would be tough to see him go knowing what could’ve been had he not caught the injury bug, but as an Atlanta Falcons fan, it’s important to understand that this is a business and guys need to be on the field consistently to help the team win games. Sadly, Neal hasn’t been on the field and the Atlanta Falcons could use some extra cap space.