Atlanta Falcons: Roster trimmed down to 53 players

 Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks, left, defends against wide receiver Eric Weems during one on one plays at training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011.     Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks, left, defends against wide receiver Eric Weems during one on one plays at training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

In surprise moves, cornerback Dominique Franks and linebacker Spencer Adkins were released by the Falcons on Friday.

With a new defensive coordinator in Mike Nolan and secondary coach in Joe Danna, the dismissal of Franks is part of major renovation in the secondary.

Franks is the second cornerback from last season’s opening-day roster to be released.  The team reached an injury settlement with Darrin Walls, who made the team last season as an undrafted free agent from Notre Dame, when they cut down from 90 to 75 players.

062012falcons CC22

Offensive line coach Pat Hill confers with (66) guard Peter Konz and center Tyler Horn during the first day of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. (CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM )

Franks played in 11 games last season and made four starts. He finished with 17 tackles, three passes defensed and had two interceptions. He was a fifth round pick in 2010.

Behind cornerbacks  Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel, the Falcons elected to keep Christopher Owens and Robert McClain.

Behind starting safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, the Falcons retained veteran safety Chris Hope and rookie Charles Mitchell. Shann Schillinger was placed on injured reserve.

Adkins, who started in the playoffs against the New York Giants for Stephen Nicholas, was a sixth round pick in 2009.

The team also waived wide receiver Drew Davis, linebackers Pat Schiller and Rico Council, center Tyler Horn, wide receiver James Rodgers, cornerback Peyton Thompson, cornerback Marty Markett, wide receIver Marcus Jackson, offensive tackle Bryce Harris, linebacker Jerrell Harris, safety Suaesi  Tuimaunei, defensive tackle Micanor Regis, running back Dimitri Nance and defensive lineman Conrad Obi.

Veterans fullback Mike Cox and long snapper Joe Zelenka were released.

Wide receiver Kerry Meier was waived injured.

The team reached injury settlements with tight end LaMark Brown and tackle Andrew Jackson.

Schiller played at Northern Illinois and amassed 239 tackles over his four-year career. He had 19 tackles for loss, three sacks and eight passes defensed. He had a strong game against Jacksonville on Thursday as he led the defense with eight tackles, including one tackle for a loss.

“Pat Schiller played pretty good tonight,” linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. “I think he’s been getting better throughout the camp and he kind of showed that tonight.”

The Falcons are going to carry just five linebackers on the 53-man roster. Weatherspoon, Akeem Dent, Stephen Nicholas and Mike Peterson appear to be locks. The fifth spot will likely be filled by Robert James.

Horn started at center for the Miami Hurricanes. He was a second-team all-ACC selection.

Brown played at Minnesota-Mankato after transferring from Kansas State. He was the 50th rated wide receiver by ESPN draft analyst Kiper, but the Falcons played him at tight end.

Obi, 6-3, 290. a native of College Park who played at Grayson High, played at Colorado.

He appeared in 41 games during his career at Colorado and had a breakout season as a senior. In 2011, Obi started seven games and posted 31 total tackles (14 solo) with three passes defensed, one tackle for loss, and one fumble recovery.

He was signed as a free agent by Arizona after the draft, but was released.

Council played at Tennessee State and was named the Ohio Valley Conference preseason co-defensive player of the year. In 2011, he had a team-high 87 tackles (49 solo) with 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception, 11 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Council turned some heads in training camp with his striking ability and is likely one of the leading candidates for the practice squad.

“He’s a big, burly and thick guy,” linebacker coach Glenn Pires said. “He’s got to bring the wood. Those are his assets. He’s a big and strong guy. He’s physical in the run game. That’s what we want to get from him, getting downhill and playing physical.”

The Falcons must cut down from 75 players to 53 players by 9 p.m. today.  We will be updating this file as we confirm the players released.

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146 comments Add your comment

MyThoughts

August 31st, 2012
12:29 pm

Whose next ?????????

PMC

August 31st, 2012
12:30 pm

Thanks D Led. Been waiting to hear about this all day.

lowdownjj

August 31st, 2012
12:31 pm

And it begins

JosiahCGoodman1

August 31st, 2012
12:38 pm

Lynn Cain

August 31st, 2012
12:38 pm

D Led I am interested in your take on how the Falcons are going to utilize Jason Snelling. Is he the number two? Is he going to get cut? Is he the back up Fullback? What’s up with him.

Lynn Cain

Michael Turner

August 31st, 2012
12:39 pm

*sweating bullets*

Michael M.

August 31st, 2012
12:39 pm

never heard of them…………..was they on the roster ?

Here’s how the NFC South will look this year at the end of the regular season, it could go two ways so I have to be realistic and they wont be two teams from the South Division in the playoffs period………

1-New Orleans 1-Atlanta Falcons
2-Atlanta Falcons 2-New Orleans
3-Carolina 3-Carolina
4-Tampa 4-Tampa

of course Atlanta Fans are going to favor Atlanta and Saints Fans for the Saints…………….but honestly either top two teams could win the South…………….but only one will be in the playoff spot.

Lowski

August 31st, 2012
12:46 pm

Interested to see where Davis lands in all this. I wasn’t overly impressed by him considering all the priase that has been heaped on him in these blogs.

Hollywould

August 31st, 2012
12:50 pm

Need to let Chris Hope go. Saw him miss 2 straight tackles and then get pile driven into the end zone on the next play. I know Franks has probably made the team but he looked awful. Only reason he got interception was he was 5 yards behind his man.

BRAKING NEWS!!!!!!

August 31st, 2012
12:54 pm

FLACONS QB DOMINAT DAVIS CUT…………….while shaving

LOLOLOLO!!!!!

PMC

August 31st, 2012
12:54 pm

What wasn’t impressive about Davis? He’s not a starter no question, but for an undrafted rookie, he’s moving well in the pocket, he throws catchable balls, keeps his eyes down field. Stands in there well and delivers the football under pressure on target.

The fault with Davis has mostly been poor play by receivers. Lots of drops and some drops to interceptions.

Sure Davis had one bad interception last night but Matt Ryan had probably the worst pick of the preseason (maybe of his career) in the opener against Baltimore.

Dom Davis is solid. I feel more confident about him giving them a chance to win a game than Luke McCown.

SeenThisBFalcon

August 31st, 2012
12:54 pm

The whole team needs to be cut and start all over….

Savannah Bird

August 31st, 2012
12:55 pm

thought schiller played well lat night,guess he do much in practices

SeenThisBFalcon

August 31st, 2012
12:55 pm

I love me FALCONS…but its just the same ol FALCONS

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

August 31st, 2012
12:56 pm

Waiting ans crosing my fingers that Perrier Jerry is 1 of the cuts

ATLJBO

August 31st, 2012
1:13 pm

Aaron Wilson said Spencer Adkins got the axe

ATLJBO

August 31st, 2012
1:16 pm

Peria has been balling

Also wow… Franks got cut… He hasnt looked good tho as a CB

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

August 31st, 2012
1:17 pm

If balling means he totaly suxes than I Agre.

PMC

August 31st, 2012
1:25 pm

Dolphins cut LB Gary Guyton. Would love if this former GT player came back to Atlanta to bolster the LB depth.

The LB depth on this team is just awful.

Brian Van Gorder

August 31st, 2012
1:41 pm

What about Aron White? Has he survived the cuts so far? I don’t see him listed among the Twitter handles.

gabuldawg

August 31st, 2012
1:43 pm

Aron White was cut when the cut down to 75.

just me

August 31st, 2012
1:47 pm

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

August 31st, 2012
1:50 pm

Franks seemed to be put of position a lot last night.

Chris Vivlamore

August 31st, 2012
1:57 pm

Looks like LaMark Brown has been cut. His twitter post: ‘Very grateful for the opportunity the Atlanta Falcons organization gave me and I wanna thank the fans for all of the support.’

FalconJim

August 31st, 2012
2:00 pm

As per NFL.com, add CB Dominique Franks, DT Conrad Obi to the list of casualties, so far…

chc4

August 31st, 2012
2:03 pm

Did the fans really support LaMark Brown? Never heard of him.

Whopper Dawg

August 31st, 2012
2:03 pm

If those were his stats over the preseason, they are nuts for cutting him. That kid can play, and he will unfortunately elsewhere. Especially when our Lbs stack up like this, Spoon – good, Peterson – rocking chair ready, Stephson – OK, nothing special, Dent – potential.

Joe

August 31st, 2012
2:09 pm

Schiller will definitely land somewhere else. Trust me & HIM!!!!!

rod "straight outta Augusta" johnson

August 31st, 2012
2:11 pm

I’m pissed DFranks was cut. Say what you want, but I would keep him over any UDFA or Chris Owens. Dumb move TD.

Esquire

August 31st, 2012
2:13 pm

Dom Davis has looked good. He has come off as polished and mature in the huddle, the backfield, and the pocket. He has mainly played against 2nd/3rd teamers so I hope he can come in with that calm demeanor if he was needed during the regular season.

I was upbeat with the way we were able to get rid of some of the stupid penalties in the 2nd half last night. There was a couple of catchable balls dropped that were drive killers. Kevin Cone was hit right in the numbers.

Speaking of cut linebackers how bout Greg Jones from the Giants or Jonathon Goff from Washington?

Phalcon Phred

August 31st, 2012
2:19 pm

Domimck Davis is a camp b.itch

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

August 31st, 2012
2:25 pm

Thanks, Chris.

Michael M.

August 31st, 2012
2:28 pm

yawning here…………………keep em a coming………………………………………………………

Chris Vivlamore

August 31st, 2012
2:33 pm

Can confirm that defensive lineman Conrad Obi has been released.

mountain_jim

August 31st, 2012
2:34 pm

Schiller might make it to PS.. Hope cutting Franks does not mean HD gets injured returning punts again.

Esquire

August 31st, 2012
2:36 pm

Michael M.

August 31st, 2012
12:39 pm
______________________________________________

Impressive how you’ve gone out on a limb there.

I got it:

#1 Falcons
#2 Panthers
#3 Aints
#4 Bucs

Esquire

August 31st, 2012
2:42 pm

Deion Branch cut from NE, along with back up QB Brian Hoyer.

Michael M.

August 31st, 2012
2:43 pm

I can’t go out on a limb against the Saints this year, after all they could make a miracle recovering after all the off-season shenanigans………………..in other words……….. I am covering my own a%% here…………………………………………………………….

Esquire

August 31st, 2012
2:45 pm

Reprinted without permission:
One of Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel’s goals in the final preseason game was to get through it without any injuries. The Chiefs might not have accomplished that in a 24-3 loss on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers.

According to the Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher, LB Derrick Johnson injured his ankle and backup QB Brady Quinn suffered a neck injury against the Packers. Crennel said after the game that there was “nothing major that I heard of” regarding injuries; however, Teicher reported on Twitter that “sources” told him the injuries to Johnson and Quinn could be “more than that” and the Chiefs were still evaulating.

Esquire

August 31st, 2012
2:47 pm

@Michael M.

YES YOU ARE cover your ass, just don’t forget to wipe

Esquire

August 31st, 2012
2:48 pm

……continued (without permission of course):
The injury to Johnson, in particular, could be troubling for the Chiefs if he misses significant time. Kansas City is already without Tamba Hali for the opener against Atlanta because of his one-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. CB Brandon Flowres’ status for the opener is uncertain as he has not practiced since bruising his heel in a July 31 practice. Starting safety Kendrick Lewis is out with a shoulder injury, and Flowers’ backup, Jalil Brown, missed Thursday’s game with a groin injury.

All the ingredients are there to repeat the nightmare that was the beginning of the 2011 season. TE Tony Moeaki tore his ACL in the final preseason game; safety Eric Berry tore his ACL in the opener and Jamaal Charles tore his ACL the next week. Oh, and the Chiefs lost the first two games by a combined score of 89-10.

Will history repeat itself? Will Johnson and Flowers play Week One? Stay tuned.

tp

August 31st, 2012
2:53 pm

The Bears cut DE Chauncey Davis …

Michael M.

August 31st, 2012
2:56 pm

San Francisco turned loose of anyone yet………………………………………………..

FalconsFam

August 31st, 2012
3:01 pm

Can anybody confirm or deny the rumor that Dominique Franks and Spencer Adkins got cut??

rod "straight outta Augusta" johnson

August 31st, 2012
3:03 pm

I feel like the Falcons may be positioning themselves to cut Turner or gauge interest from other teams. I keep seeing comments from Smitty that he can be everydown back. Let’s add it up…Turner due a $5M roster bonus and he 30yrs…. *whistles and looks up in air*

Charlie

August 31st, 2012
3:08 pm

Franks is a Bum.

Wonder why Dominique Davis has not been cut yet?
How about it Darryl, was it not you who was on here
professing that DD was on the BUBBLE ?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 31st, 2012
3:09 pm

Linebacker Rico Council has been released.

FalconsFam

August 31st, 2012
3:12 pm

Hey DLED, Franks cut?

Najeh Davenpoop

August 31st, 2012
3:15 pm

The Rams just released Ovie Mughelli, so if the Falcons want to bring him back at a less stupid price, they are free to do so.

rod "straight outta Augusta" johnson

August 31st, 2012
3:17 pm

DLed, whats good bruh? Any word on players that were cut by other teams, that the Falcons could potentially sign?