A day after parting ways with veteran running back Steven Jackson, the Falcons have released another key offensive player, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Citing a league source, Getlin reports that Atlanta has cut wide receiver Harry Douglas, who had a year remaining on his contract.
Douglas, 30, enjoyed his best season in 2013, when injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White increased his role in the Falcons’ offense, allowing him to set new career highs in catches (85) and receiving yards (1,067). Jones and White returned to health for the 2014 season, and Douglas returned to his role as Matt Ryan‘s No. 3 target, but he still managed to rack up 51 receptions in just 12 games.
Although he was a solid third receiver in the Falcons’ offense, Douglas’ base salary was set to increase to $3.5MM for the 2015 season, and three of the Falcons’ top eight cap hits belonged to receivers, so something had to give. By releasing Douglas, Atlanta will reduce his cap number from $4.396MM to about $896K, removing that $3.5MM base salary from the books.
Douglas, who should draw some interest as a second- or third-tier wideout for teams that don’t want to pony up for a top free agent, will be eligible to sign with another club immediately, since he won’t have to pass through waivers.