The Falcons have officially parted ways with running back Jerious Norwood, according to his agent Bus Cook.
“We just talked (to the Falcons) a little bit and he’s got to move on,” Cook said this morning in a phone interview. “Hopefully he can stay healthy.”
Cook said yesterday teams were mostly working on rookie deals and said he had some calls about Norwood, who is hoping to re-sign with another team.
“If he can stay healthy, he is a great player,” Cook said. “I hope it works out for him because he’s an even greater person. You know that.”
Norwood (5-11, 209) was drafted in the third round (79th overall) of the 2006 draft.
Norwood flashed his speed and appeared set to have a long career as a third-down back and kickoff return specialist.
Over his five seasons with the Falcons, defenses had to respect Norwood’s speed, but after a durable collegiate career at Mississippi State, he’s had trouble staying on the field because of injuries. Out of a possible 80 regular-season games, he played in 57.
In 2006, Norwood rushed for 633 yards. In his second season, he rushed for 613. In 2008, the only season that he played in all 16 games, he rushed for 489 yards.
In 2009, he played in just 10 games (concussions and hip flexor) and rushed for 252 yards. Last season, he played in two games before suffering a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
As a receiver, Norwood caught 12, 28, 36, 19 and one passes.
Norwood’s major contribution came as a kickoff returner. He has a total of 2,987 kickoff return yards, which ranks third in team history. His 25.5-yard career kickoff return average currently ranks second in team history.
The Falcons drafted running back Jacquizz Rodgers in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. They also have a decision to make on Jason Snelling, who’s talking to the St. Louis Rams.
The Falcons now have nine running backs on the training camp roster.
RUNNING BACKS (9)
22 Jacquizz Rodgers
27 Gartrell Johnson
32 Philip Sylvester
33 Micheal Turner
34 Ovie Mughelli
35 Antone Smith
40 Thor Merrow (Buford High)
42 Lucas Cox (Georgia Tech)
44 Jason Snelling
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog