The Falcons have released defensive end Derrick Shelby, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Shelby’s representatives requested the release so that he could get a jump start this weekend and “do a deal this weekend,” Rapoport adds.
Shelby, 29 in early March, left the Dolphins to sign with the Falcons in free agency last offseason. The veteran put himself on the map in 2016 when he took over for Cameron Wake following his injury and performed well in eight starts.
Shelby was a starter right out of the gate in Dan Quinn’s defense, but he did not bowl anyone over with his play. Shelby totaled 30 tackles on the year with one sack and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 51 ranked edge defender.
Shelby, who also saw time on the interior in 2017, was under a four-year, $18MM contract with Atlanta with $7.5MM in guarantees. The Falcons will save $3.25MM against the cap by releasing him, but they’ll also be on the hook for $2.5MM in dead money.
The Falcons also released tight end Levine Toilolo on Friday and more cuts could be coming down the pike. The Falcons entered Friday with less than $11.5MM in cap space, putting them near the bottom of the NFL.