The Atlanta Falcons are dumping fuel ahead of free agency as they look to rebound from their dismal 2013 season.
On Wednesday they started with dropping two players, cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Stephen Nicholas, the team announced, via Marc Sessler of NFL.com.
Samuel, a shell of his former self, lost his job to rookie Robert Alford later in the season and many expected him to be a goner. Nicholas started 12 games in 2012, but fell out of a starter role in 2013. His $3 million cap hit for next season made him a cut man walkiing.
Samuel also carried a heavy burden for the team to the tune of a $5.25 million in salary and bonuses in 2014. His release will save the team more than $4 million.
In being cut before free agency begins, the Falcons are actually doing both a favor, as they can negotiate with any team now rather than wait until March, but in Samuel's case, we're not quite sure who wants him at this point in his career.