The Atlanta Falcons announced their first two moves of the 2016 offseason on Monday, releasing safety William Moore and linebacker Justin Durant.
Durant joined the Falcons prior to the 2015 season, signing as a free agent. He played in 13 games, 12 of which he started, and tallied 82 tackles and a forced fumble, according to the team’s website. His release frees up $3.4 million in salary cap space for the 2016 season, ESPN.com reported.
The bigger loss for Falcons fans was Moore. “Willy Mo” was drafted by Atlanta back in 2009, and he played seven productive seasons for the Falcons. Known as one of the biggest hitters in the NFL, Moore made the Pro Bowl squad in 2012 but often had trouble staying healthy – partially due to his extremely physical play.
During his 7-year stint with the Falcons, Moore had 365 tackles, 11 forced fumbles and 16 interceptions. He only played all 16 games twice, and in the last two seasons, he only played in 18 games combined.
The Falcons will save $6.525 million by getting rid of Moore, ESPN.com also said, but fans will definitely miss his bone-crushing hits, freestyle rapping skills and that palm tree he had in his living room that we all got to see during “Hard Knocks.”
“We want to thank both of these guys for their commitment and work ethic,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said in a statement. “They battled through injuries to give everything they had for their teammates this season and I will always be appreciative of that.”
Thanks for seven great years in Atlanta, Willy Mo. And for showing us that amazing palm tree.
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