The Atlanta Falcons made a few roster moves today, none of them unexpected.
The Atlanta Falcons are parting ways with Ricardo Allen, per Adam Schefter. Allen has been a mainstay in the Atlanta Falcons defensive backfield since the 2015 season, a year after he was drafted. But will the Falcons miss his presence?
On the field, Allen is an undersized player whose defense never really feared. He’s far from a ball hawk. At his best, Allen had three interceptions in a season which is his career-high. What he lacked in instinct, he didn’t really make up for in size and speed. Which, for safeties in the NFL is kind of a problem.
They are the last line of defense and Allen didn’t have the closing speed to run down opposing players. If he was out of position from the jump, well you consider that a wrap.
His running mate Keanu Neal is known for being a heavy hitter. Neal, after returning from two season-ending injuries, may not be what he was, but most players don’t want to see 22 flashes across their vision when they are running across the middle of the field.
That wasn’t the same for Ricardo Allen.
His best skill set was probably his intangibles and with Damontae Kazee set to return, Neal finally staying on the field, and the emergence of young corners, he just got squeezed out. The Falcons couldn’t count on him to be a Jamaal Adams type and live in the backfield, Allen only has one career sack.
At best he was a “sure” tackler.
Per Salary Sport, Allen was set to make about $6.3 million in base salary next year. And for a team in cap hell with plenty of other pressing needs, Allen was an easy cap casualty. While he never was a problem off the field, he was far from a game-changer on it.
He is still a young safety in the NFL and there are plenty of young secondaries that may find him serviceable.
The Atlanta Falcons made the right decision in moving on from him in what could be an offseason of some much harder choices in cuts, trades, and free-agent signings. He’ll be missed the most in making sure everyone was lined up properly, but other than that, we wish him the best in his next ventures.
Even if he stays in the NFC South, Atlanta shouldn’t be worried about any other Deion Sanders moments.