The Atlanta Falcons are continuing to perfect their roster ahead of the 2022 season.
On Friday the 13th, the team not only traded for promising Raiders wideout Bryan Edwards, but they also released cornerback Kendall Sheffield along with tight end Ryan Becker, as reported by ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.
Per Kevin Knight of The Falcoholic, cutting Sheffield comes by no surprise and frees up $2.5 million bucks in cap space for Atlanta.
ALL the latest Falcons news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Falcons newsletter here!
Sheffield Was on the Hot Seat
Before cutting Sheffield, the Falcons’ cornerback depth chart consisted of Kendall Sheffield, A.J. Terrell, Casey Hayward, Isaiah Oliver, Darren Hall, Avery Williams, Corey Ballentine, Cornell Armstrong, Lafayette Pitts and Mike Ford.
Atlanta kept six cornerbacks on their 53-man roster last season and Sheffield was one of them, but that won’t be the case this year.
Since being drafted by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft, Sheffield’s production has decreased.
During his rookie season, Sheffield logged 46 total tackles, 3 passes deflected and a forced fumble through 16 games and 11 starts. He remained a steady asset in year two where he recorded 51 total tackles, 3 passes defended and a forced in 13 games with nine starts.
Last season, Sheffield played behind A.J. Terrell, Isaiah Oliver and Fabian Moreau until he was placed on the injured reserve with an undisclosed injury in September. He was reactivated off the IR in October and finished the year recording zero tackles through seven games.
Sheffield’s injury gave 2021 rookies Darren Hall and Avery Williams a chance to shine. Hall finished his first year with 27 tackles, 3 passes defended and a sack while Williams recorded 22 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries and a pass defended. He also totaled 643 kick return yards.
Earlier this offseason, the Falcons re-signed Isaiah Oliver to a one-year deal, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year in Week 4, but his contribution at nickle of 11 tackles and three pass deflections at the start of the season gave Atlanta a reason to sign him again.
As for Sheffield, we wish him the best on his fresh start elsewhere.
Becker Joined the Falcons Last Offseason
Becker, 24, first signed with Atlanta last April but landed on the injured reserve before the 2021 regular season even kicked off. He initially joined the league in 2020 with the Arizona Cardinals after going undrafted out of SMU. Before landing on the IR, Becker caught one pass for eight yards in the Falcons’ preseason loss to Tennessee.
While Becker is primarily known for his blocking skills, he was a versatile TE at the college level. Through 46 games and 15 starts at Southern Methodist University, Becker caught just 16 balls for 198 receiving yards with five touchdown
Similar to the Falcons’ cornerback situation, the team’s tight end room was getting a little crowded as well.
Atlanta went and drafted a new blocking tight end last month in sixth-round pick John FitzPatrick. The Georgia product will help fill the void left by Lee Smith––a former blocking tight end for the Falcons last season. This means FitzPatrick will be the new guy who is expected to open up opportunities for receiving tight-end Kyle Pitts.
- Falcons Receive Overall Solid Grades for 2022 Draft Class
- Viral Photo of Newest Falcons WR Has Fans & Media Giddy [LOOK]
- Fans React to Falcons Tough 2022 Schedule