Poole has been the Falcons’ primary nickel cornerback for the past three seasons, so the news comes as a bit of a surprise. Last year, Poole set new career highs in tackles (74), sacks (3.0), and interceptions (3), but the team is unwilling to tender him even at the lowest level, which would cost just over $2MM.
The door is still open to a return, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. However, Poole would have to agree to a lesser deal than the RFA tender, and it’s possible that the 26-year-old (27 in October) will prefer to take his chances on the open market.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn has indicated in the past that Damontae Kazee could take over at nickel, so the Falcons may already have Poole’s replacement in-house.
Last year, Poole graded out as just the No. 81 cornerback in the NFL out of 110 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.