Atlanta Falcons release OT Tyson Clabo in salary cap move
The 31-year old Tyson Clabo had been a regular starter for the Atlanta Falcons over the past five seasons. Tyson Clabo initially broke into the Atlanta Falcons starting lineup in 2006, starting out as right guard before moving on to right tackle in 2007. He has also played at the left tackle position. During his seven-year career with the Atlanta Falcons, Tyson Clabo had 105 starts, including 91 consecutive starts since 2008.
"We're really disappointed, but at the same time we're excited about new experiences,” said Tyson Clabo following his release by the Atlanta Falcons. “We'll have to see where we go from here. This was definitely unexpected.”
The move should help clear up space for the Atlanta Falcons’ impeding contract with quarterback Matt Ryan. Before the Atlanta Falcons cut ties with Tyson Clabo, the team was just $2.4 million under the 2013 salary cap. In the short-run the Atlanta Falcons have freed up $900,000. But overall, Tyson Clabo’s release, which has been designated as a post-June 1 cut, will save the Atlanta Falcons $4.5 million in terms of his 2013 base salary. The move could not only facilitate Matt Ryan’s contract, which Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff expects to be expected around September of this year, but it will also create cap room to sign their draft picks.
"Unfortunately, we had to make another difficult decision regarding our roster today," said Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith in a statement released by the team. "Tyson was a valuable contributor to our football team during his time here and we appreciate everything he did for this team and in the community."
The Atlanta Falcons are thin at the tackle position following Tyson Clabo’s release. They already lost 2011 backup tackle Will Svitek to the New England Patriots during free agency. Last season, 2012 draft third-round pick Lamar Holmes and Mike Johnson were the primary backup tackles. Lamar Holmes is expected to face competition for the starting job from Mike Johnson. But so far, neither Lamar Holmes nor Mike Johnson has started a game at right tackle. The Atlanta Falcons could also look at the draft for help at the tackle position.
Meanwhile Tyson Clabo hits the open market as one of the top right tackle options. He is expected to generate plenty of interest from teams who are in need of offensive tackles, such as the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars. However, things could turn out to be a little more difficult for Tyson Clabo until after the draft, since this year’s draft is solid at the position.