Today the team cut ties with veterans Michael Turner, Dunta Robinson and John Abraham. In terms of cap space, I think these moves were great, clearing up nearly $19 million in room. However, if you look at the production (Abraham led the league in sacks for the last 5 seasons, Turner has been the team’s leading rusher for the past four seasons, and Dunta has started every game since he signed with the birds) it is going to be tough to instantly replace these players.
With these cuts taking place, I am hoping the Falcons will open up the check book and bring in some guys who can produce immediately. Some people I have in mind include Steven Jackson, Dwight Freeney, Cliff Avril, Osi Uminuora, and possibly Charles Woodson. Now, these are just thoughts and it would be unrealistic for anyone to think that we will land more than one, if any, of these players. With that being said, Atlanta was one play away from playing in the Super Bowl with the guys they cut today. So in my opinion, as of right now, the Falcons are a worse team now than they were walking off the field at the Georgia Dome in following the conclusion of the NFC Championship game.
In conclusion, today was a sad day for me. I don’t know how other fans feel about these cuts but I just think about everything that Turner and Abraham did for our team. In 2010, Turner was the third leading rusher in the NFL and now two years later he’s on the street. This is where I think the issue lies in sports. I understand professional sports franchises are monetary driven businesses just like any other, but the loyalty is really going down the drain. Teams are becoming less and less hesitant to drop a star player without thinking twice. It’s just hard on the fans that develop a passion for these specific players—like I did with Turner and Abraham—and then you wake up in the morning and poof, they are gone.