Falcons Move on From Veteran Safety and Two Others

Falcons release ricardo allen

Getty Ricardo Allen #37 heads off the field along with Olamide Zaccheaus #17 of the Atlanta Falcons.

On Thursday, the Falcons announced that they are moving on from veteran safety Ricardo Allen, defensive end Allen Bailey and waiving quarterback Kurt Benkert on Thursday.

Allen spent seven seasons as a Falcon while Bailey and Benkert spent two.

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Ricardo Plans to Pursue Coaching After NFL Career

Through seven seasons in Atlanta, Allen started 76 games racking up 340 tackles, 11 interceptions, and one sack.

Allen, 29, was drafted by the Falcons in 2014 in the fifth round when he spent his rookie year on the practice squad. He was initially drafted as a cornerback but made the switch to free safety where he played the last six seasons. As a four-time captain, Allen was well known for his leadership in the locker room. He played a major role in helping the community and social injustice awareness across the league.

During the 2019 season, the Falcons nominated Allen for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes an NFL player for their outstanding community service activities on and off the field.

In Week three of 2018, Allen suffered a torn Achilles tendon which ended his season. However, Allen made the most of his downtime and studied various NFL defenses and offenses.

“I went back to the old school, back to Bill Walsh and the beginning of the West Coast (offense),” Allen told USA Today back in 2019. “I went back to (former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle) Shanahan when he was here and all the stuff he was running in practice.

“Just try to learn as much from the coordinators and the people who actually like invented the offense and the people with the most knowledge. I was just studying it over and over, like if I was a quarterback or I was a wide receiver or a running back trying to learn the offense. I was just trying to learn it from the foundation of it. I got bored, so I did something.”

Allen added that once his NFL career comes to an end his plan B is to be an offensive coordinator or at least help other teams.


 Falcons Attempt to Save Salary Cap

By releasing Bailey and Allen, the Falcons have freed up $10.75 million in cap space.

Split up, Allen saves Atlanta $6.25 million in salary-cap space and the Falcons get another $4.5 million by letting go of Bailey. Bailey joined the Falcons in 2019 after spending eight seasons in Kansas City with the Chiefs. In his two years as a Falcon, the former third-round pick played in 31 games with nine starts and recorded 41 tackles, seven quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks.

As for Benkert, he never really got a shot to prove himself because he injured his toe after a promising preseason start against the Broncos prior to the 2019 season that put him on injured reserve. Benkert is just 25 years old and plans to get picked up off the waivers to go elsewhere, but if he doesn’t, he has a steady career in professional gaming.

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