All indications are that the hip injury that kept Asamoah from even dressing for Thursday night's preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens is a real issue and could lead to a parting of ways via an injury settlement. The Falcons recently dropped 2012 second-round pick Peter Konz in that fashion after Konz underwent another knee procedure.
Asamoah, who started all 16 games last season after signing a five-year, $22.5 million contract ($8 milllion guaranteed), lost his starting job to Chris Chester during the preseason. Asamoah is not viewed as an ideal fit for offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's outside zone blocking scheme, which relies on good footwork and lateral quickness. He can be a solid pass protector, however.
If the Falcons had any intentions of trading Asamoah, the hip injury made such a scenario unrealistic. Coach Dan Quinn acknowledged the injury following Thursday's game.
Placing Asamoah on injured reserve doesn't appear to be a viable option, but that route can be explored. What might be best for Asamoah could be to become a free agent by accepting the injury settlement. If he and the Falcons agreed he would miss eight weeks because of the injury, Asamoah could settle for $1.65 million or 8/17 of his 2015 base salary.
The Falcons, needing to cut their 75-man roster to 53, already made a variety of roster moves, including trading a sixth-round pick and conditional future pick to Tennessee for veteran guard Andy Levitre. The team also cut ties with quarterbacks Rex Grossman and T.J. Yates along with the following players: defensive end Cliff Matthews, safety Sean Baker, linebacker Terrell Manning, guard Jared Smith, cornerback Kevin White and offensive tackle Jake Rodgers, a seventh-round pick this year out of Eastern Washington.
The subtraction of White, an impressive undrafted rookie, is good news for former third-round draft pick Dezmen Southward. He might have saved his job with an inspired effort against the Ravens. The converted free safety has struggled with the transition to cornerback, but he posseses the speed and length Quinn desires in a corner. Not to mention that general manager Thomas Dimitroff surely doesn't want to see another one of his higher picks no longer on the team.