A day after releasing eight players, the Atlanta Falcons made a variety of roster moves that left them one below the roster limit at 52 players. That could leave them room to pursue a backup quarterback or add a veteran offensive tackle such as Jake Long.
Saturday's moves included placing demoted right guard Jon Asamoah on injured reserve with a hip injury. Asamoah could have reached an injury settlement with the team and become a free agent, but that obviously wasn't an option. He was one of three players placed on IR, along with fullback Collin Mooney and cornerback Travis Howard.
On Friday, the Falcons parted ways with quarterback Rex Grossman and T.J. Yates along with cornerback Kevin White, defensive end Cliff Matthews, offensive guard Jared Smith, offensive tackle Jake Rodgers, linebacker Terrell Manning and safety Sean Baker.
Here's a breakdown of Saturday's moves:
Most significant move: Topping all transactions was the injury settlement reached with fan favorite Antone Smith, an explosive running back who averaged 51 yards per scoring play on five touchdowns last season before breaking his leg. Smith's latest setback was a hamstring injury, which led to the parting of ways with the Falcons. His size (5-9, 192) probably contributed to Smith's durability issues, but there was no denying how explosive he could be with the ball in his hands. Smith also was a special teams standout. Smith's departure allowed undrafted rookie Terron Ward to make the team as the third running back behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
Also, the Falcons parted ways with former fifth-round pick Stansly Maponga, who just didn't make enough plays as a pass-rusher. The team did, however, keep former third-round pick Dezmen Southward, who was on the bubble after a rocky transition from free safety to cornerback. Southward played inspired football in the final preseason game, including a punishing hit that showed he is capable of playing physical football.
Catching on: Receiver Nick Williams was a long shot coming into training camp with a host of receivers ahead of him. But Williams showed toughness both on offense and as a return man, which earned him the spot as the seventh receiver alongside Julio Jones, Roddy White, Leonard Hankerson, Devin Hester, Justin Hardy and Eric Weems. Probably as a result of keeping so many receivers, the Falcons went with just two tight ends in Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo as Tony Moeaki was released. Moeaki, who figured to be the second tight end behind Tamme, had his preseason cut short by an ankle injury.
Falcons released/waived players: RB Antone Smith (injury settlement); RB Jerome Smith (waived/injured); OLB Stansly Maponga, OLB Tyler Starr, LB Derek Akunne, DT Joey Mbu, CB Akeem King, TE Tony Moeaki, TE DJ Tialavea, WR Carlton Mitchell, OG Adam Replogle.
Injured reserve: OG Jon Asamoah, FB Collin Mooney, CB Travis Howard.