The Atlanta Falcons cut nine players Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 75 players. That came after five players were waived Friday. Here’s a closer look at the first cuts:
Most significant move: The Falcons cut quarterback Sean Renfree, a former seventh-round pick in 2013 who was the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Ryan last season. It was somewhat expected considering the team added veteran Matt Schaub to back up Ryan this season, plus offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wanted to get a closer look at what Matt Simms could do. Simms would be the No. 3 quarterback if the season started today, but the Falcons had Ryan and Renfree on the active roster last season as Simms was on the practice squad. Falcons coach Dan Quinn praised Renfree. "One of the toughest guys I've been around," Quinn said. "Mentally tough, physically tough. When you have that much respect for a guy, even for me over a short time, he earned that respect from me, kind of the gritty way he approaches it. ... He'll always have a fan in me, that's for sure."
No job safety for vet: The Falcons just signed veteran safety Sergio Brown last Saturday, but he was released a week later. One figured Brown would get a closer look just based on his experience and the fact the Falcons are banged up at strong safety with first-round pick Keanu Neal (knee) and Kemal Ishmael (shoulder) suffering injuries. But, obviously, the Falcons didn't view Brown as capable of transitioning from free safety to strong safety. Brown played 18 defensive snaps in Thursday night's 17-6 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins, his only game with the team.
Motivational moment: Wide receiver Jordan Leslie, who was on the practice squad last season, might be a guy to keep an eye on who could thrive elsewhere. He didn't have much of a chance this preseason with the likes of Devin Fuller and Nick Williams at the back end of the receiver rotation. Leslie tweeted out some lyrics after his release: "They was countin' me out, you know you shouldn't have did that. You didn't recognize my drive, shouldn't have did that."
Falcons moves: QB Sean Renfree, S Sergio Brown, WR Jordan Leslie, OL Michael Huey, RB Gus Johnson, TE Arthur Lynch, LB Ivan McLennan, CB Ryan White, DL Brandon Williams, WR David Glidden, DE Efe Obada, FB Will Ratelle, CB Jordan Sefon, and OG Jordan Walsh.