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21 Aug 2019 02:51

The second rounder will be looking for a new team after six seasons in Atlanta."The writing was on the wall for a while now Grady Jarrett Jersey 2019 , but I had held out hope that the Falcons would reach an accord with Robert Alford that changed the structure of his deal and kept him around. Instead, the team will release the 2013 second rounder, saving just shy of $8 million against the 2019 salary cap and enabling them to tackle other priorities. The report comes via NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo, and does not indicate when Alford will be officially released. Vaughn McClure at ESPN indicates he’s already been informed of the decision. General manager Thomas Dimitroff had the following to say about the roster move:“We thank Robert for all that he brought to the team during his six seasons in Atlanta. He was a significant contributor to our defense and we have a great deal of respect for him. We wish Robert all the best going forward.”Alford, 30, joined the Falcons in the same draft class as Desmond Trufant, with the team intending to solve their cornerback need for several seasons. While Alford’s career got off to a shaky start, he wound up being a quality contributor for several years, managing 10 interceptions (plus a huge pick six of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl), 85 pass deflections, and 303 tackles over the years. He was solid-to-good in 2015 and pretty terrific in 2016 and 2017 before the bottom dropped out in 2018, when Alford had arguably his worst season as a pro as the Falcons sagged to 7-9. That season, plus Alford’s cap hit, were likely the deciding factors here. The Falcons drafted Isaiah Oliver in the second round in 2018 with an eye on making him a long-term starter and have talked openly about drafting another corner in this class, meaning there was little room for a player making $8.5 million at a position where Desmond Trufant is highly paid, Damontae Kazee may get a long look Black Brian Poole Jersey , and Brian Poole is still an extremely useful option in his own right. The Falcons will likely use their cap savings to shore up one or both of their lackluster lines, which the team identified as a problem coming into this offseason. We know Alford will land on his feet, given his strong track record, and we wish him well wherever he lands. The Falcons went a long time without multiple quality starting cornerbacks, and Alford gave them a couple of great years and at least one phenomenal Super Bowl memory. Now we’ll see if Oliver is up to the task of replacing him as the Falcons look to bounce back in 2019. Calvin Ridley’s rookie season was marked by astonishing highs, a franchise mark that will likely stand a very long time, and some very aggravating miscues. Where does that season stack up against other greats of yesteryear for Atlanta? For today, we’ll look at elite tight end Tony Gonzalez (not, of course, a Falcon his whole career), Julio Jones, Roddy White and Andre Rison to see how Ridley’s first year stacks up. This is useful because Julio and Gonzalez were considered elite players more or less immediately, and Ridley has elite potential. Rison was one of the team’s true greats, if only over a short span, and enjoyed a very successful rookie year in Indianapolis. Roddy’s numbers are a lot more lackluster because of the slow start to his career, but as a true Falcons great Brian Poole Jersey 2019 , he still belongs on this list. ReceptionsCalvin Ridley: 64Julio Jones: 54Andre Rison: 52Tony Gonzalez: 33Roddy White: 29Ridley is part and parcel of a higher-volume passing attack than any of these other three men, which makes a genuine difference in his output. That said, he was targeted plenty for a reason, and that’s because his reputation as one of the more advanced route runners and receivers in this class proved to be true. Receiving YardsJulio Jones: 921Calvin Ridley: 821Andre Rison: 820Roddy White: 446Tony Gonzalez: 336Again, Ridley had more opportunities, but he made the most of them. What’s truly incredible here is what Julio managed to do in his very first season in just 13 games with ten fewer receptions than Ridley, which illustrates that as good as Ridley is and will be, he’s probably not going to be Julio Jones. Receiving TouchdownsCalvin Ridley: 10Julio Jones: 8Andre Rison: 4Roddy White: 3Tony Gonzalez: 2This is where Ridley stands out, and where he’ll continue to be very dangerous for this offense. When things compress in the red zone, the receivers who tend to fare the best are the ones who are excellent at achieving separation. Ridley does that exceptionally well, and thus it’s no great surprise that he was a favored red zone target for Matt Ryan in 2018. Julio, meanwhile, was also stellar as a rookie, again in just 13 games. Catch RateThis is a pretty simple stat that tells you what percentage of targets a receiver actually reeled in. This can be mitigated by a lot of things, including quality defense, drops Black De’Vondre Campbell Jersey , and inaccuracy from your quarterback. Still, it’s a useful snapshot of how good receivers are at corralling passes thrown to them. Calvin Ridley: 69.6%Tony Gonzalez: 61.1%Julio Jones: 56.8%Roddy White: 42.0%Andre Rison: N/ARidley’s high percentage here is a testament to Matt Ryan’s accuracy, which has been better from 2006-2018 than it was back in 2011 when Julio Jones debuted. It’s also a testament to his route running prowess, as he’s able to get open, earn targets, and then reel them in. When you consider Rison’s catch rate is not listed because catch rate was not tracked during his rookie season, as far as I can tell.DropsJulio Jones: 6Calvin Ridley: 3 to 4Roddy White: N/ATony Gonzalez: N/AAndre Rison: N/AI have some doubts that all of Ridley’s drops are being counted here, but even so, he stacks up favorably against Julio, who enjoyed a magical rookie year but certainly had his moments. Ridley’s drops were ill-timed and frustrating, but they were not so legion as they seemed. Overall, then, Ridley looks as good as any receiver on this list not named Julio Jones, and very nearly as good as him across the board. The era we’re living in certainly is a factor in Ridley’s production, but if we step away from the quiet games and the miscues that frustrated us at times during the team’s losing streak, we see a pretty special rookie having a pretty special rookie season. As Julio Jones continues his assault on history De’Vondre Campbell Jersey 2019 , Ridley ought to be able to make his dent on the team’s leaderboards and opposing defenses alike, and I look forward to seeing his career in Atlanta unfold. It’s nice to remind myself of this given how frustrating some of those drops and mistakes truly were. Just for fun, by the way, I thought I’d throw in highly-touted Panthers rookie D.J. Moore, who went ahead of Ridley to the Carolina Panthers. Here’s their season lines side-by-side.Calvin Ridley: 64 receptions, 821 yards, 10 touchdowns, 69.6% catch rate, 12.8 yards per receptionD.J. Moore: 55 receptions, 788 yards, 2 touchdowns, 67.1% catch rate, 14.3 yards per reception Both players should be pretty special, but I know which one I’d rather have.

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