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Falcons release Ade Ogundeji

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By: Dave Choate

Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2021 draft pick’s time with Atlanta is over.

With a new coaching staff in Atlanta this offseason, it was always likely that we’d see some roster turnover. The Falcons did keep several key coaches around and have maintained a surprising amount of roster continuity to this point, all things considered, but as the spring and summer wear on that could well change. It did on Thursday, as the Falcons released 2021 NFL Draft pick and outside linebacker Ade Ogundeji.

It was not difficult to see this move coming. Once envisioned as a significant piece of the defense and a full-time starter in 2022, Ogundeji came into the 2023 season hoping to solidify his role over the long haul after a solid-but-not-impressive campaign in his second season. Instead, a training camp injury wound up knocking him out for the entire season, and the Falcons added Bralen Trice, James Smith-Williams, and Bradlee Anae to his position group in 2024. It’s unclear whether Ogundeji is simply not healthy or just wasn’t in the team’s plans, but as Terrin Waack for the Falcons notes, he was not out there for organized team activities recently.

With the Falcons having a set group to rotate through in Lorenzo Carter, Arnold Ebiketie, Trice, and Smith-Williams, as well as Anae and DeAngelo Malone competing for roles, it seems they weren’t optimistic about Ogundeji seizing one. The team does save close to $2 million by making this cut, per Over The Cap, and have opened up one more roster spot to fill.

Through 32 games and 27 starts with Atlanta, Ogundeji managed 75 tackles, three sacks, and eight total tackles for a loss. The former fifth round pick also played a significant role on special teams in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

A solid run defender who is still pretty young and has starting experience under his belt, Ogundeji should be able to catch on with another team if he’s healthy, with Ryan Nielsen’s Jaguars a possibility if the former Falcons defensive coordinator liked what he saw from the outside linebacker last spring and summer. We wish him well wherever he lands.

Originally posted on The Falcoholic – All Posts