Atlanta Falcons cut veteran Pro Bowl cornerback prior to 2023 NFL Draft

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San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Casey Hayward came to the Atlanta Falcons last season on a reasonable contract that seemed like a steal at the time. He had made a couple of Pro Bowls and was selected to a couple of All-Pro teams in his career. He has also been one of the most well-respected players in the league.

However, he had a disappointing season with the Falcons that consisted of inconsistent play to start the year and then an injury that robbed him of most of his 11th season in the NFL. Now his time has come to an end in Atlanta following their trade for Jeff Okudah a couple of weeks ago.

Atlanta Falcons releasing veteran CB Casey Hayward following the addition of Jeff Okudah

One of the biggest questions for the Atlanta Falcons over the past two weeks has been the fate of veteran corner Casey Hayward. He was entering the final year of his deal after an injury-riddled 2022 campaign.

The Falcons decided to add Mike Hughes in free agency and then recently traded for former third-overall pick Jeff Okudah. The trade clearly meant that Hayward had lost his spot as the number-two CB behind A.J. Terrell but it was worth wondering, even after the signing of Mike Hughes, whether he might get a shot in the slot. We now have our answer as he will now be looking for a new team if he elects to continue his career in the NFL.

The Falcons clearly believe that they have their cornerback position figured out or know they will be adding to the position in the draft. It is interesting that they made this move prior to the draft, nevertheless, it is best for both parties as it clears any question marks for Atlanta while also giving Hayward time to look for a new team.

Best of luck to him in the future, hopefully, he can stay healthy and continue playing at a high level as he has for most of his career.

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