Shann Schillinger signs four-year deal; Eric Ward waived

Stephen F. Austin running back Romonté Hampton is tackled at the Griz 2-yard line by free safety Shann Schillinger after being stripped of the ball by Griz linebacker Alex Shaw (not pictured) during the first quarter on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Missoula. (Associated Press)

Stephen F. Austin running back Romonté Hampton is tackled at the Griz 2-yard line by free safety Shann Schillinger after being stripped of the ball by Griz linebacker Alex Shaw (not pictured) during the first quarter on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Missoula. (Associated Press)

Safety Shann Schillinger, the team’s sixth round draft pick, was signed to a four-year contract, the team announced on Thursday.

In an unrelated move, the Falcons waived quarterback Eric Ward, who played at Southwest DeKalb High.

Eric Ward was impressive enough at the minicamp to land a contract with the Falcons. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Eric Ward was impressive enough at the minicamp to land a contract with the Falcons. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Schillinger, 6-foot, 200 pounds, played at Montana. Over his four year career with the Grizzlies he tallied 255 tackles, 19 passes defensed and 10 interceptions.

Last season, Schillinger played in 15 games and had 90 tackles, four interceptions and six passes defensed. The Grizzilies reached the Football Championship Sub-Division (formerly Division I-AA) national championship game.

Ward, 6-2, 213 pounds, was originally signed on May 9 as an undrafted college free agent from Richmond.

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81 comments Add your comment

Peepee Teepee

June 10th, 2010
10:56 am

First? Maybe?

TeeJay

June 10th, 2010
11:10 am

Hopefully Eric can stay on as a practice player.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 10th, 2010
11:24 am

what’s the contract status w/ Spoon?

FalconsFan284

June 10th, 2010
11:28 am

The Falcons are really moving on signing these draft picks. I hope it means they’ll have all but Weatherspoon signed before the end of the month.
Losing Ward isn’t a big deal. Apparently the Falcons aren’t going to waste time on players that they feel cannot pick up the playbook or contribute to the team. I think this is the first indication of a new mindset out of the Dirty Birds. I mean the last few years they have really been bringing in guys and letting them compete all the way into training camp but now you see them cutting guys that just don’t figure into the future of the club. This is what good teams do. I honestly believe this means the Falcons are very close to that upper echelon.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: [...]

DJ Sniper

June 10th, 2010
12:00 pm

I really like how this regime has been able to get our draft picks under contract prior to the start of training camp. No long, drawn out holdouts by rookies who think they should get top dollar before proving themselves in this league. I think this year will be the same as the past two seasons and all rookies will be ready to go on the first day of camp.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what we do this year. I know the team has caught some flack by not addressing the DE position, but I do feel that John Abraham have a bounce back season. I’m also expecting big things from Kroy Biermann. Here’s a guy who was getting physically manhandled in training camp as a rookie, and now he’s on the verge of claiming a starting job. I think this will be a breakout season for him.

Jamaaliver

June 10th, 2010
12:02 pm

Does anyone else think we are VERY vulnerable at Backup QB? Between Redman and Wilson…seems like we could do better at finding a more established veteran for backup and a more promising project to groom/experiment with at 3rd string QB.

FalcFans.com » Schillinger signs

June 10th, 2010
12:07 pm

[...] Falcons signed safety Shann Schillinger to a four-year deal according to the AJC. He is the second draft pick to sign a contract, as defensive tackle Corey Peters signed a deal on [...]

sleeze

June 10th, 2010
12:15 pm

Jamaaliver, not sure what football team you’re watching, but I think the boys at the Brnach (Dimitroff, Smith, & Co) are very confident in Redmon as a back-up, especially based on how he’s played when Ryan was out. I’ll give you trhat JPW is an unknown quantity, but I think Redmon is more than solid as the #2 QB.

sleeze

June 10th, 2010
12:15 pm

Jamaaliver, not sure what football team you’re watching, but I think the boys at the Brnach (Dimitroff, Smith, & Co) are very confident in Redmon as a back-up, especially based on how he’s played when Ryan was out. I’ll give you trhat JPW is an unknown quantity, but I think Redmon is more than solid as the #2 QB.

JMar

June 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

“Hopefully Eric can stay on as a practice player.”

Generally players cut before training camp are not ultimately signed to the practice squad.

PMC

June 10th, 2010
12:27 pm

Woo hoo! Championship!

Sebastian

June 10th, 2010
12:51 pm

Redmon is an ideal backup quarterback. So what you are really saying is that DJ should be the #2 because he was a dog. I guess we could always see what Joey harrington is doing theses days.

worm

June 10th, 2010
1:05 pm

Panthers just took a hit..Thomas Davis out for season with another knee and Muhsin Mohammed just retired.

Tale of Woe

June 10th, 2010
1:07 pm

I am disappointed that you did not give me credit since I mentioned this over an hour before you posted it. Where is the love?

D Money

June 10th, 2010
1:08 pm

I’m not worried about a third string QB or practice squad. If we see either one then our season is done.

Paddy

June 10th, 2010
1:36 pm

jammaliver….Redmon is a perfect #2. Where in gods green earth are you going to find a back-up, like you described, this time of year. And they are grooming a 3rd string qb, Wilson. You need to follow pro football and the Falcons just a wee bit more.

Waffle House Fight Club

June 10th, 2010
1:58 pm

There is no practice squad during the off season. Practice squads are put in place after the final cuts in September. Any player that is cut now, is VERY unlikely to be invited back for camp, and have a chance at making the practice squad.

This is a bunch of Mullarky

June 10th, 2010
2:52 pm

I understand there are last minute negotiations to possibly keep Eric Ward after Ryan intervened on his behalf. What is the lastest news?

Ball Boy.

June 10th, 2010
3:35 pm

Yep, he may stay. Tune in to the 6 oclock news.

falcon4ever

June 10th, 2010
4:31 pm

For thoe of you that think Abe will have a breakout year , think again. Both he and Gonzo are at the twilight of their careers. Does anyone know of any info on the replacement scenario for those two?

Rod

June 10th, 2010
4:45 pm

Im hearing DJ has been the first one there and the last one to leave during OTA’s and all the hard work over the years is starting to show and pay off for him.

FalconsFan284

June 10th, 2010
6:02 pm

4ever—-Though I don’t agree with your analysis of Abe and Gonzo I can say that their replacements are already on the team. For Abe the replacement is going to be Laurence Sidburry, while Tony’s replacement is going to be Carlos Peek (the undrafted rookie). The good news is that we won’t need either one to step in and play this year.

thunderbull56

June 10th, 2010
6:18 pm

I agree falcon4ever,except I think it’s more like the clock striking midnight.I’ve flogged this dead horse numerous times here,but I think TD was robbed by his old bud in KC for Gonzo.I believe he retarded our young QB’s growth.Abraham I’ve not commented on so much, but hey,he’s only had one relatively injury free decent year for all the bucks.Time Gonzs is gone our QB will be in his fourth maybe fifth year.Yeah, I’m an old school tight end lover, but I’d like to be identifing a young one to grow with our QB.

falcon4ever

June 10th, 2010
6:40 pm

Thanks FalconsFan284 and thunderbull56.- How do you know those two players won’t have to step in? Both Abe and Gonzo are getting old and in Abes case , a bit slow. I hope ,if they have to, that they can step up because the Saints are returning almost the whole team and look to be very good again this year. the Panthers have a good qb in Moore and even with Muhammad retiring they drafted that guy out of LSU who is an outstanding receiver. I hate to say this but we better hop on it this year or we’ll finish behind both the Saints and the Panthers. It’s not as far fetched asit sounds

fanATicaL

June 10th, 2010
7:37 pm

Harry Douglass is the answer to the Tony G question.The quick inside slot reciever.Becomes the pin at which.The many options open up on our offense.Linebackers have to determine,who to cover quickly.Somebody will be open and it will be up to Mr Ryan to find that man.
On defense the answer will be 2.PJerry and CPeters will add speed and pressure from the inside.Can’t double Abraham all day. Because with coverage in the secondary.We will be more aggressive on the blitz. Whether it is from the linebacker,corner or safety position.There will be more sacks this year.
Go Falcons

whodatworldchamps

June 10th, 2010
7:56 pm

Yea right fanatical, Drew “Superbowl 44 MVP” Brees will pick the secondary apart no matter who is back there don’t you get it!

FalconsFan284

June 10th, 2010
8:12 pm

Whodat—-And just how is Mr. Brees going to pick us apart when your 25th ranked D will be on the field all day long? You have to remember the Saints are the only NFC South team that is coming into this season weaker. And your D is even more questionable then last year. But, on a good note, your Coach probably made some good coin with the drugs he stole!

hiramsaint

June 10th, 2010
8:43 pm

284 -how do you know our d is weaker. if you would read anything about the saints , our d actually is a bit stonger than last year plus it’s the second year under williams which means everyone is more comfortable in his agressive scheme. look at fujitas #’s, not a really big loss and as everyone found out last year , we have depth

hiramsaint

June 10th, 2010
8:45 pm

maybe smitty could hire holyfield for some lessons before he tries his cheap crap again and somebody pops his old a$$ upside the head

toad

June 10th, 2010
11:12 pm

saints defense scored 100 points last year it was a perfect storm for them. 8-8 ouy f the playoffs book it

rekingball

June 10th, 2010
11:48 pm

The N.O. saints…….Just one turf toe away from the cellar of the NFC South in 2010.

Without Brees, the saints ain’t doo-doo.

whodatworldchamps

June 10th, 2010
11:49 pm

Fyi to all y’all pidgeons we swept y’all wit da 25th defense and won a superbowl with a 25th defense as y’all say if dats da case what do y’all have a 45th defense,lol. Fyi our defense will b stronger this year I know y’all hate to hear dat but….TWO DAT!!!!!!!!!!

rekingball

June 10th, 2010
11:50 pm

The saints won’t have the ZeBras helping them on defense this year.

whodatworldchamps

June 11th, 2010
12:02 am

I’ma say dis fa da final time until y’all get a ring then talk to da champs other than that B QUIET!!!!!!

rekingball

June 11th, 2010
12:03 am

learn some english.

saints— lucky lightweights with a lot of official help.

rekingball

June 11th, 2010
12:06 am

Enjoy those rings saints, it’ll be a long time before you are able to theive anymore of them.

MarkTwain

June 11th, 2010
1:48 am

People will know Sidbury’s name after this year. Colin Peek had a touchdown reception in the Auburn game last year that started a, “Dude, I bet Cody beats him in a foot race” conversation. I don’t know if that speed will work in the NFL.

[...] Falcons sixth-round safety Shann Schillinger signed a four-year contract on [...]

truth

June 11th, 2010
9:18 am

Looks like whodat is another hiram…..a man who’s favorite team in whoever wins the superbowl. Will, I guess you guys will be Falcon fans in 2011.

rekingball

June 11th, 2010
9:36 am

I predict….that at the end of the 2010, you will not be able to find a saints fan on an AJC blog.

Case Quarter

June 11th, 2010
9:54 am

DOL… Was the Eric Ward release truly unrelated? Since the Falcons are over the 80 man roster limit, I think they have to release a player for every draft pick they sign. Correct?

torgo

June 11th, 2010
10:22 am

Case Quarter – I was about to post the same thing. Yes, it’s *directly* related.

Drafted players don’t count towards the roster limit until they sign their contracts. The Falcons had 79 signed players plus the drafted players. Corey Peters signed to bring the team to the 80-man limit, so they had to release someone in order to sign Schillinger.

(Note: there’s an error on the team’s official web site. They have never added undrafted defensive back Daylan Walker to their roster list after signing him, so the actual count is one more than the roster listed on their page.)

FalconsFan284

June 11th, 2010
11:33 am

Hiram—–Did the Saints lose five defensive players in the offseason? And are they planning on replacing them all with only Alex Brown? Are you aware that with the Redskins and Bills Greg Williams defenses have dropped statistically in their second year? Do you really want to compare the Falcons to Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield? The only “cheap” thing, as you say, Holyfield has done is knock out the biggest, baddest bully on the block in Iron Mike Tyson. I would love to hear how your defense has gotten deeper and better by letting experienced NFL players go to other teams.

SeenThisB4

June 11th, 2010
11:41 am

“Drew? Drew, can you hear me?” Payton transmits. On the field, Brees nods. “They got Schillinger in. That’s the look we wanted.” “Burn’em.” Brees nods.

FalconsFan284

June 11th, 2010
12:01 pm

Whodat—–Apparently you are worried about those dirty birds. Why else would you come on to a Falcons message board? Since it’s obvious thinking is not your forte I’ll do my best to give you an education that will stick better then your English classes in high school; if you made it that far.
What the Saints are about to find out is that it is much harder to defend the title. Last year everyone expected your Saints to be the team that had typically been under Sean Payton, and that is an 8-8 ball club. This year teams know better. They will be more prepared. And, they will attack your very weak defense on the ground. The Saints lost two of their key players on that defense in Scott Fujita (the fourth leading tackler last year) and Charles Grant (who statistically was one of their most consistent linemen). They also lost an additional three defensive players. Greg Williams is a good coach but his second year has always been a down year!
The great thing about the NFL is that their is always a next year. You can talk about the ring they have all you want but that was last year. Why not talk about this year?
This year the Falcons, not the Saints, have improved across the board. The return to health of Peria Jerry, Brian Williams, William Moore, Micheal Turner and Matt Ryan spells trouble for your overachieving bunch of journeymen. Granted your offense is awesome but we have a young defense that could be just as awesome. If you look at every level of the Falcons defense they have improved! Dunta Robinson help. Corey Peters helps. Sean Weatherspoon helps. William Moore helps. Where’s the help for the Saints 25th ranked defense? BTW, the Falcons defense was ranked 18th and they lost more games from starters then any team in the league.
Any way you look at it; one team, the Falcons, have improved greatly and the other team, your Saints, have gotten worse. I don’t know that you get worse and repeat as champions but we’re going to find out this year! Not last year, this year!

FalconsFan284

June 11th, 2010
12:04 pm

“Matt, can you hear me?” says Mike Murlarkey. Matt Ryan nods. “Their entire defense is on the field. Do whatever you want!”

FalconsFan284

June 11th, 2010
12:07 pm

I should really proof read some of the stuff I am posting.

SeenThisB4

June 11th, 2010
12:59 pm

Actually, that’s exactly how the falcon offense normally looks like. Everybody doing whatever they want. No direction. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

SeenThisB4

June 11th, 2010
1:12 pm

FalconFan284: Set the record straight. The Saints CUT Grant, cause he was useless. We lost Fujita, but like you said, he was not high on the list of tacklers, much less pro bowl material. As for the other three players we lost on defense, I have to say: What other three players? Name them bud. Name them! And when you do, I’ll name you three outright cuts or players that weren’t tendered.

By the way, what type of reflection is it on the falcons when you say that because the Saints won last year, that this year, teams will be more prepared?

And finally, the issue about the rings: The rings are still this year. Hell, they haven’t even been distributed yet.

As for your team’s improvements: Wonderful. I’m glad to hear it. Maybe this year, your team can give the Saints a more competitve game, after all, your team was the only team that lost twice to the Saints last year.