Posted March 01, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Atlanta Falcons started their youth movement Friday by ditching three key players from the most successful era in franchise history.
The Falcons released running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson, moves that were not unexpected given their age (all in their 30s) and hefty salaries.
Still, it was a stunning start to Atlanta's offseason makeover, especially for a team that came up just short of the Super Bowl, losing to San Francisco in a thrilling NFC championship game. In one swoop, the Falcons let go their top rusher, their leader in sacks, and a starter in the secondary.
''As a football coach it is never easy to cut any player, especially veteran players who have been valuable members of the organization,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. ''The guys we released today have contributed to the success that we have had over the last five years, and we greatly appreciate their efforts.''
The moves free up about $16 million in salary cap space, money that general manager Thomas Dimitroff intends to use to build a younger roster. Last year, the Falcons were one of the oldest teams in the league.
The 31-year-old Turner was the first big free-agent signing under the Dimitroff-Smith regime in 2008. The bruising back rushed for 1,699 yards his first season and more than 1,300 yards two other years. But his playing time dipped dramatically in 2012 as the Falcons gave more carries to a totally different kind of back, Jacquizz Rodgers, who provided more speed and quickness.
Turner rushed for 800 yards this past season, the lowest of his five-year Atlanta career, with 10 touchdowns.
Abraham has been the Falcons' only consistent pass rusher since being acquired from the New York Jets in 2006. At age 34, he led the team with 10 sacks but had to cut back on his snaps in a bid to stay healthy. He wasn't much of a factor in the playoffs after injuring his left ankle in the final regular-season game.
Over his Falcons career, Abraham had 68 1-2 sacks. His departure means defensive end will be one of Dimitroff's top priorities in the free agency.
The 30-year-old Robinson signed with Atlanta in 2010 and became a steady figure in the secondary, known especially for his bruising hits. He had four interceptions over the past three seasons.
The Falcons were an NFC-leading 13-3 last year, their fifth straight winning season. Since 2008, they have made the playoffs four times and won two division titles.
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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Atlanta Falcons will be releasing cornerback Dunta Robinson, running back Michael Turner and defensive end John Abraham today.
Major moves in ATL: Falcons are releasing CB Dunta Robinson, RB Michael Turner and DE John Abraham today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2013
All three moves will free up a total of $25.1 million in cap...
The Atlanta Falcons took a meat clever to the roster that got them within 10 yards of the Super Bowl on Friday, cutting veteran defensive end John Abraham, the teams leader in sacks in 2012, high-priced cornerback Dunta Robinson and, as expected, running back Michael Turner.
With the freed up cap space, the Falcons could be in position now to make a trade for disgruntled New York...
The Atlanta Falcons released running back Michael Turner, cornerback Dunta Robinson and defensive end John Abraham on Friday, ESPN’s Adam Shefter reported Friday. The team later confirmed the news on Twitter.
After six seasons in Houston (2004-09), Dunta Robinson, 30, joined the Falcons in 2010 and though the former first round pick (No. 10 overall out of South Carolina) was...
The Atlanta Falcons have thrown down the first dagger of the off-season, parting ways with Dunta Robinson, John Abraham, and Michael Turner. This ushers in a new era of Falcon football, while generating a huge amount of cap room.
The Michael Turner cut has been rumored for a while and we've speculated about cutting ties with Dunta Robinson. The big surprise is John...
The Falcons today have released veterans Michael Turner, Dunta Robinson and John Abraham.
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) March 1, 2013
The Atlanta Falcons have released three players this morning to clear CAP room for their team, DE John Abraham, CB Dunta Robinson, and RB Michael Turner. How this applies to the Patriots is simple; we have a need at corner back and defensive...
In a move that will create $15.9 million in cap space, the Atlanta Falcons have released veterans Michael Turner, John Abraham, and Dunta Robinson.
Releasing Turner will save $6.4 million in cap space, releasing Abraham will save $5.75 million in cap space, and Robinson’s release saves $3.75 million.
The move was made not only for cap space, but also to get younger according to...
The free agency frenzy doesn't begin until March 12.
Tell that to general managers who have begun flooding the market with veterans they have cut - guys who can sign with any team at any time.
Joining that group Friday were such former Pro Bowl players John Abraham and Michael Turner, released by Atlanta along with cornerback Dunta Robinson.
Also available is 2009 Defensive...
Hot News for RB Michael Turner
In a serious move to free up salary cap space, the Atlanta Falcons have released three veteran players from their roster this morning. DE John Abraham, CB Dunta Robinson and RB Michael Turner have all been released according to news first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move regarding Turner was more of a matter of when and not if.
Robinson has played for the Falcons for...
The Atlanta Falcons took a meat clever to the roster that got them
within 10 yards of the Super Bowl on Friday, cutting veteran
defensive end John Abraham, the teamâs leader in
sacks in 2012, high-priced cornerback Dunta Robinson and, as
expected, running back Michael Turner.
I’m big in Thailand Juan…
The Falcons had one real weak spot on the offense last season. Michael Turner and the running game that couldn’t consistently get going even with the passing game opening up big holes. The Falcons have stated repeatedly that they believe Jacquizz Rodgers can be an every down back, but from I have seen, I find that hard to believe. He’s just...
On Friday, the Atlanta Falcons dropped a bombshell by releasing John Abraham, Dunta Robinson and Michael Turner. With the release of Michael Turner, which was reportedly due to a failed physical, that opens a spot at running back for the Falcons. The Falcons are very happy with Jacquizz Rodgers and they also like Jason Snelling as a situational back. As happy as the Falcons are with...