FLOWERY BRANCH – Veteran offensive guard Vince Manuwai became the first casualty of the Falcons’
open competition along the line when he was released between practices on Saturday.
“It was a football decision,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Vincent was out last year, completely out and in terms of the competition at the offensive line positions, we wanted to not muddy the waters.”
He was signed by the Falcons as a free agent on March 9, 2012 and received a $65,000 signing bonus. He was scheduled to make a base salary of $890,000.
Basically, the coaches were impressed with what they’d seen from guards Garrett Reynolds, Peter Konz, Mike Johnson and tackle-guard Andrew Jackson and were also able to make a clear assessment of Manuwai, who played eight seasons in Jacksonville before sitting out last season.
“We’ve got a real competitive situation across the offensive line,” Smith said. “We are going to roll them in and out. We’ll come up with the best combination of seven offensive linemen.”
Manuwai, 6-2, 333 pounds, started 105 of the 111 games with the Jaguars. He opened training camp as the No. 3 right guard behind Reynolds and Konz.
The Falcons had just two free-agent signings last offseason in Manuwai and linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Both has been released. The team’s roster now stands at 89, one below the league-limit of 90.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog