September 11th, 2021 at 4:14pm CST by Sam Robinson
The Falcons made an interesting Week 1 decision. They are releasing veteran linebacker Brandon Copeland, per Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).
A former Jets and Patriots starter, Copeland signed with the Falcons during the first week of free agency. The Falcons filled Copeland’s roster spot by promoting linebacker James Vaughters from their practice squad.
Atlanta added Copeland, 30, on a league-minimum deal. This cut will prevent Copeland’s $990K base salary from becoming guaranteed. Vested veterans on Week 1 rosters have their 2021 salaries guaranteed. While Copeland could end up back with the Falcons on a team-friendlier pact or on a practice squad deal, he is in free agency for the time being.
The ex-UDFA recorded five sacks and 14 QB hits for the Jets in 2018, working as an edge player for a team long weakened at that skill, but saw an injury stall his career. A torn pec ended Copeland’s Patriots run in October 2020. The Pats used Copeland as a four-game starter last season. Copeland appeared on Atlanta’s injury report this week with a hamstring ailment but got in a full practice Friday.