Falcons to release Coleman

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Atlanta Falcons are soon expected to release veteran safety Erik Coleman.

That’s not much of a surprise because Coleman became a seldom-used backup this season with the emergence of young safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore. Those two are now established as the starters for the long term.

Coleman had started all 32 games for the Falcons in 2008 and ’09, but lost his starting job in training camp last summer. The move also might have been prompted in part by financial reasons. The Falcons weren’t going to continue paying him as a starter.

He was scheduled to earn $2.5 million in 2011, the final year of his contract. Instead of Coleman’s scheduled $3.125 million cap figure, the Falcons will be responsible for only $625,000 of pro-rated bonus money against the 2011 cap.