Southward, who was moved to cornerback this season under new coach Dan Quinn, never seemed comfortable in making the transition to a new position. He was on the roster bubble in the preseason, but saved himself with a strong performance in the final preseason game. But his lack of aggression was a concern.
Southward was inactive for five of the first eight games this season, including being inactive the past four weeks. He was the fourth player from the 2014 class to be let go, joining linebackers Prince Shembo (fourth round), Marquis Spruill (fifth), and Yawin Smallwood (seventh).
The Falcons promoted rookie cornerback Akeem King from the practice squad to the active roster. King, a California native, played college ball at San Jose State, not too far from where the Falcons will take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Depth at cornerback could be something to monitor depending on how long starter Robert Alford is sidelined with a groin injury. The Falcons enter Sunday's game with Desmond Trufant and rookie Jalen Collins as the primary cornerbacks outside, with Philip Adams capable of playing inside or out.