Anthony Rush

Falcons Cut DT Anthony Rush

Anthony Rush will go from being 4-for-4 in Falcons 2022 starts to the waiver wire. The Falcons cut their starting nose tackle Thursday, the team announced.

This move comes months after the player who was set to challenge or potentially usurp Rush at the position, Eddie Goldman, retired shortly after signing with Atlanta. Nevertheless, Dean Pees‘ defense will have a new starting nose in Week 5.

Rush, 26, had played 33% of Atlanta’s defensive snaps this season. Weighing north of 360 pounds, Rush worked as a run-stopper with the rebuilding team. Pro Football Focus had graded Rush outside the top 100 among interior defensive linemen, however. The former UDFA started six games for the Falcons last year, after coming over from the Titans midseason. He has played with five teams since coming into the league in 2019.

Grady Jarrett continues to work as the Falcons’ D-line mainstay, while 2021 fifth-round pick Ta’Quon Graham has seen his defensive snap rate rise to 63% this season. Marlon Davidson, a 2020 second-rounder, remains on IR after undergoing arthroscopic surgery late in the offseason. Journeyman Abdullah Anderson and rookie Timmy Horne, who have each been rotational players in Pees’ second season in Atlanta, could see more playing time as a result of this somewhat surprising Rush transaction.

Falcons Notes: QB Camp Reps, RB, NT Competitions

For the first time since 2008, the Falcons will have a starting quarterback not named Matt Ryan when the upcoming season begins. The team added Marcus Mariota as a short-term solution at the position, then drafted Desmond Ridder as a long-term option to succeed him.

The former has starting experience dating back to his time with the Titans, and will look to establish himself as a No. 1 again after two years as a backup with the Raiders. The latter, meanwhile, had an historic career at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to the CFP playoffs in 2021. Their lack of a track record at the NFL level made the Falcons a candidate to add a camp arm, but the team is investing fully in their top two passers.

As detailed by D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, training camp reps will be split between Mariota and Ridder, with Feleipe Franks primarily focusing on his transition to TE. “When you look at it in terms of the quarterbacks for live periods of practice, there is not a lot [of] taxing amount of periods where the ball is being thrown,” said offensive coordinator Dave Ragone when speaking about a concentrated workload for the pair. With little expected of the team in 2022, dividing the reps only two ways is a sensible step for the Falcons as they search for a new franchise signal-caller.

Here are a few other notes from the Peach State, both from Ledbetter’s positional breakdowns:

  • The Falcons ranked 31st in the league in rushing last season, so their attempts at improving their ground game will be the subject of much attention this year. Cordarrelle Patterson is set to return, after he totalled a career-best 1,166 scrimmage yards in 2021. He will not enter camp as the undisputed No. 1 back, however; RBs coach Mike Pitre said that there will be a “wide open” competition involving the veteran Swiss Army knife, free agent signing Damien Williamsand younger options like rookie Tyler Allgeier and Avery Williamswho is converting from cornerback. Head coach Arthur Smith did add, however, that the Falcons will “continue to try to enhance ” Patterson’s overall role in the offense.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, nose tackle will be another positional battle to watch. Either Vincent Taylor 0r Anthony Rush will earn a starting spot alongside Grady Jarrett in the heart of the d-line. Eddie Goldman was the most experienced option for a first-team role until his unexpected retirement decision was confirmed earlier this week. Taylor and Rush have each bounced around to multiple teams in their careers, but will have an opportunity for significant snaps in their debut seasons with the Falcons, who ranked 27th against the run in 2021.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/17/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/6/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/21/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Signed: T Jackson Barton (off Giants’ practice squad)

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 4pm ET/3pm CT Tuesday to reach the 80-man roster limit.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts 

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OT Jonathan Hubbard
  • Released from IR via injury settlement: Sam Renner

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: WR Reece Horn

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Placed on IR: DT Rob Windsor (out for year)

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: TE Carson Meier
  • Cut with injury settlement: TE Jibri Blount

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: DB Chris Cooper

Tennessee Titans

Packers To Sign QB Jake Dolegala

Five quarterbacks now reside on the Packers’ 90-man roster. After participating in Green Bay’s minicamp on a tryout basis this week, Jake Dolegala signed with the team, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Dolegala joined Jordan Love and recently signed QBs Blake Bortles and Kurt Benkert in Packers workouts this week. Dolegala may end up sticking around through training camp, though this scenario may be contingent on another player’s status.

Aaron Rodgers did not show for Packers minicamp, beginning his long-rumored holdout, and the reigning MVP has shown no signs of budging in his quest to leave Green Bay. Despite substantial fines on tap for training camp absences, Rodgers not turning up in late July is a very real possibility.

The Packers entered their offseason program with only Love as a willing quarterback participant, having not kept previous Rodgers backup Tim Boyle as a restricted free agent. Boyle is now in Detroit. The team’s QB depth chart now looks considerably different.

A four-year starter at Central Connecticut State, Dolegala went to training camp with the Bengals in 2019 and ’20 but has yet to throw a regular-season pass. The 6-foot-7 QB then bounced on and off the Patriots’ practice squad last season. New England parted ways with the 24-year-old passer shortly after the draft.

Defensive lineman Anthony Rush is expected to be waived to make room for Dolegala, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets. Rush played in one game with the Packers last season and has suited up for 14 over the past two years, spending 2019 with the Eagles and part of 2020 with the Seahawks.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/25/21

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

As a reminder, these are all non-guaranteed deals, usually for practice-squad-type players, to help teams flesh out their 90-man offseason rosters.