According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Falcons have released defensive end Allen Bailey and starting safety Ricardo Allen. The two players have a combined 15 years of NFL experience between them.
Bailey started four of 16 games for the Falcons in 2020. He had 1.5 sacks, 15 tackles and five QB hits for Atlanta. In two seasons for the team, he started nine of 31 games and had 2.5 sacks, 41 tackles and seven QB hits. At 31 years of age, he is the oldest defender on the team.
Allen has played his entire NFL career with the Falcons since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He's started 76 of 77 games for Atlanta, including 12 last year. He has 11 interceptions, 26 passes defended, 340 tackles and six tackles for loss.
But cutting the two players is pretty necessary for Atlanta to be active in the 2021 offseason. Per OverTheCap, they're over $30 million in the red.
Cutting Allen and Bailey will free up about $10 million in cap space for them. But they still have a lot of work to do in order to have enough cap space to make some moves.
Atlanta had the NFC's worst record in 2020, going 4-12 and firing head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff midseason. Replacing them will be Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot respectively, and they have a big task ahead of them.
Look for a few more big cuts out of Atlanta in the days and weeks to come.