Former Falcons Fan-Favorite QB Cut by NFC Contender: ‘The Journey Continues’

Kurt Benkert

Getty Kurt Benkert #6 of the Atlanta Falcons.

Former Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback, Kurt Benkert, was cut from the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, November 15.

Benkert announced his release on Twitter:

“I’ve been released by the 49ers. Really enjoyed this stint in Santa Clara.

“The journey continues,” he wrote.

Benkert joined the Niners back in September when they were in need of a third-string quarterback after losing starting QB Trey Lance to a season-ending injury.

What Benkert Was Up to Before Landing With the Niners

Before the 49ers, Benkert spent the 2021 season with the Green Bay Packers. 

After getting cut by Green Bay in mid-June, Benkert waited by the phone, hoping another team would call.

It was 1 Week away from NFL kickoff and Benkert had yet to hear the phone ring. He did have a tryout with the Tennesee Titans in August, but nothing came about from it.

As he waited he continued to train and did consulting work for tech companies.

“I got a taste of life after football and it’s not so scary,” Benkert said after landing in San Francisco. “But at the same time, I missed the sh*t out of this and I’m happy to be back practicing, learning installs and going through the prep of it.”

Benkert is also a professional gamer, which has helped him keep busy throughout his NFL journey.

“I’m glad I started talking about my love for gaming after my rookie year,” Benkert tweeted one day before announcing his release. It’s honestly changed my life. I used to be afraid to tell people I play competitively bc I didn’t want them to think I cared any less about football.

“Gaming has always been another competitive outlet.”


Benkert’s Time in Atlanta Ended Abruptly

Before entering the league, Benkert split his college career playing QB at East Carolina and the University of Virginia.

Following his college career, he went undrafted in 2018, where he landed on Atlanta’s practice squad for his rookie year. He returned to Atlanta in 2019 but didn’t make it past the preseason after a toe injury put him on the IR. He came back to compete in 2020 but COVID-19 canceled the league’s preseason, so, once again, Benkert lost out on a chance to showcase his talents.

Still, he really thought he had a shot to make the team’s final 53-man roster after an outstanding offseason showing.

“I’ve worked my ass off. When it comes down to it, I work really hard in football and give it everything I have and am always prepared,” said in an open interview with Tyler Dunne of Go Long last year. “I think last year with Covid really opened my eyes. I had the best camp I could possibly have. I was balling. Making plays. I was like, ‘There’s no way in hell they cut me and put me on the practice squad.’ I was like, ‘I can’t be cut. There’s no way.’”

However, that ended up not being the case for Benkert, as the Falcons ended up cutting him.

“That’s just part of being an undrafted guy,” Benkert said. “Until you step a foot on the field in the game, and people have to see it, they’re not worried about somebody stealing you.”

While Benkert has for seasons under his belt, he has yet to play in a regular-season game. Hopefully, that changes down the road for him, sooner rather than later.


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