Matt Gono

Falcons Cut 27 Players, Down To 53

The Falcons are down to 53. With several hours to go before the 4pm ET/3pm CT deadline, the Falcons have released 27 players to meet the new max.

Some of these players will re-appear on the Falcons’ 16-man practice squad, if they’re not scooped up by another team. None of the cuts are particularly surprising, though D’Onta Foreman‘s name stands out on this list. The former UT star is still looking to reprise his rookie year with the Texans when he notched 327 rushing yards and two scores in ten games. However, he’ll have to do it somewhere else.

For now, the Falcons are keeping both of their backup quarterbacks. That means Feleipe Franks and Josh Rosen could be on the roster for the season opener, backstopping Matt Ryan.

Here’s the full rundown:

Falcons OL Matt Gono Has Surgery

It sounds like the Falcons’ offensive line may have just taken a significant blow. Versatile offensive lineman Matt Gono has undergone surgery recently, a source told Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The source told Rothstein that the injury, which is undisclosed, “is not season ending.” That’s concerning, since the fact they felt the need to say it’s not season-ending likely means it’s a pretty serious injury. Details are light, but it sure seems like the implication is Gono might miss some significant time.

A 2018 UDFA from Wesley College, Gono has done well for himself. He established himself as the team’s swing tackle, and can also play guard. He made four starts last year, and the team thought highly enough of him to place a second-round restricted free agent tender on him this offseason.

That means he’s set to make around $3.3MM in 2021. Gono was seen by many as the favorite to be the team’s starting left guard this year after the Falcons cut James Carpenter earlier this offseason. We should know more on the situation soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Sign 27 UDFAs

The Falcons have signed a whopping 27 undrafted free agents. Here is the full rundown:

Most NFL teams do not employ a fullback but the Falcons rostered one last year in Derrick Coleman, so McNitt and Marx may have a shot at making the team. At quarterback, there may be an opportunity for Benkert and Lamar Jordan to unseat Garrett Grayson as the third QB (assuming Jordan is being evaluated as a QB), though they are well set with Matt Schaub as the primary backup to Matt Ryan.

Benkert received a $60K guarantee to sign, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, so it’s clear that the Falcons think highly of him. Benkert started his collegiate career at East Carolina before transferring to Virginia for the 2016 season. In two years as Virginia’s starter, he completed 57.7% of his passes with 46 touchdowns against 21 interceptions.

In other Falcons news, GM Thomas Dimitroff recently addressed speculation about the team’s relationship with star Julio Jones. The Falcons also triggered the fifth-year option for defensive end Vic Beasley recently.