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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Falcons' roster moves have indirect impact on Bucs

John Abraham pressures Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman during a game last season.

AP photo

John Abraham pressures Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman during a game last season.



The Atlanta Falcons made some anticipated but still major roster moves today, releasing cornerback Dunta Robinson, defensive end John Abraham and running back Michael Turner – all veteran starters.

The moves were made necessary by the team’s salary-cap situation, which was widely expected to force some difficult roster decisions. Each player was due significant salaries in 2013 that the Falcons weren’t willing to accommodate.

What’s this got to do with the Bucs? There are a couple of links, actually.

Perhaps the biggest is what this means for Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes. He is among the top free-agent cornerbacks available and the release of Robinson makes it more likely the Falcons will re-sign Grimes. While they managed to play without him in 2012, when he spent the season on injured reserve, the Falcons now have some salary-cap space to work with and are better positioned to retain Grimes.

The Bucs are considering acquiring a free-agent cornerback – or two or three? – and Grimes’ eventual fate is going to have a significant impact on the cornerback market across the NFL.

More possible fallout from these Atlanta moves: Bucs free-agent defensive end Michael Bennett has a little more competition in free agency with Abraham now on the market. While they’re far apart in age – Bennett is 27 and Abraham is 34 – Abraham is a player who will attract attention on the market because he’s still a very capable pass rusher. Abraham had 10 sacks in 2012 and has 32.5 in the past three seasons.

And we shouldn’t forget one other Bucs-related matter when it comes to Abraham: Tampa Bay no longer will have to face him twice a season, which probably won’t upset offensive tackle Donald Penn very much.

[Last modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 11:22am]


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