The Atlanta Falcons released 13 players Saturday to reach the NFL’s mandatory 53-man roster limit.
"Today is never an easy day for anyone in the organization," said Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff. "That said however, we are pleased with our roster heading into the 2009 campaign. Our staff did a fine job of evaluating the entire team throughout the offseason, which included mini-camp, OTAs, training camp and preseason games."
Players that were released include wide receiver Troy Bergeron, running back Thomas Brown, offensive lineman Michael Butterworth, wide receiver Robert Ferguson, linebacker Robert James, wide receiver Aaron Kelly, defensive end Maurice Lucas, cornerback William Middleton, tight end Jason Rader, quarterback D.J. Shockley, offensive guard Jose Valdez, defensive tackle Vance Walker and linebacker Jamie Winborn.
"It’s always difficult to see players being released especially considering how hard everyone has worked," said Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith. "I feel like we have a good group of guys in place and I’m looking forward to moving on to the regular season."
The Falcons can establish an eight-player practice squad starting Sept. 6. Atlanta plays host to the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 13 to open the regular season.