The Falcons cut Durant after one year, and I go, ‘Hmmm’

William Moore menaces some quarterback I've never heard of. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

William Moore menaces some quarterback I’ve never heard of. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

The ink on the transcript of Cam Newton’s post-Super Bowl media briefing — key word:”brief” — was scarcely dry before the Atlanta Falcons moved to cut safety William Moore and linebacker Justin Durant. The first name was no surprise; the second was, kind of.

Credit where it’s due: William Moore is among Thomas Dimitroff’s non-Round 1 successes. He was the 55th player chosen in the 2009 NFL draft, 31 spots after the Falcons took Peria Jerry, who ranks as Dimitroff’s greatest whiff. the Falcons went hunting replacements for the five defensive starters they’d dumped after going 11-5 in their first year under Dimitroff and Mike Smith but failing to hold Arizona on third-and-16 in a playoff loss.

Hurt for most of his rookie year, Moore was a starter by 2010. He was a big hitter and, being honest, a bit of a dirty Bird. He was fined nearly $100,000 for five illegal hits from 2013 through 2015. He got hurt last season and finished the year on injured reserve. By season’s end, it was believed the Falcons saw Kemal Ishmael as a younger upgrade.

Dan Quinn arrived after working with Kam Chancellor, the best strong safety in the business, in Seattle, and Moore at his absolute best was never Kam Chancellor. Still, he was a six-year starter and a 2012 Pro Bowler. That’s pretty fair value for a Round 2 pick. Dimitroff can and has done much worse.

As for Durant: He was one of the Falcons’ biggest free-agent acquisitions of the last offseason, and he wasn’t terrible. (The Falcons’ linebackers as a unit were, however.) He has been deemed not good enough after one year, which makes you wonder: Whose idea was it to sign him? By then, Quinn was in place and working — so we’re told — in Total Harmony with Dimitroff and Scott Pioli. Questions, then:

Was Durant imposed on Quinn by Dimitroff/Pioli? (If so, Total Harmony might just be overrated.)

Did Quinn ask for Durant? (If so, he mightn’t be much of a personnel judge, which would be unfortunate, seeing as how he holds the keys to the kingdom.)

Or did some nameless scout recommend Durant, therefore giving the Flowery Branch brass another excuse to reshuffle their scouting department while adding to the count of former NFL general managers bunking at Camp Arthur? (The number has ballooned to five, not including Dimitroff, technically still a GM.)

I might be making too much of this. (That happens on occasion.) It’s possible Durant was seen as no more than a stopgap and the Falcons got exactly what they wanted — one season, no harm, no foul. They surely want the cap space to sign somebody better, which isn’t just permissible but advisable. But I find this top-heavy power grid bizarre, and right about now almost anything the Falcons do makes me go, “Hmmm.”

Further reading: Value bet to win the next Super Bowl? ESPN’s Tuley says the Falcons.

Still further: A defensive coach to offense? The Falcons again stump the band.

Reader Comments 0

32 comments
Trey Smiley
Trey Smiley

Why is Brooks reed still here. He should've been the first to go.

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

Hahahaha Dimitrof. Hahaha. Can't take it serious anymore. Just have to laugh that Blank says let's keep going with this. It will ultimately cost Quinn who is now on this train.

candlin14
candlin14

First I will say I do not like either decision. Mark my words, William Moore will be picked up in a heart beat and he will have a solid year next year in a different uniform. The Durant cut makes no sense especially when Brooks Reed, Worrilow, and Bierman are still on the roster.

If our plan is to pick up a Danny Travathyn or Bruce Irvin then I may be ok with that but that requires spending money and that's something we do not do. The problem with this team is that we have drafted so terribly and have so many needs and holes on the roster that we can not just sign one or two big names and expect to win.

Until we draft better we are going to stay in this same bottom of the barrel free agent signings year after year. This schedule next year will get Dimitrioff fires!!!

Paul Maner
Paul Maner

Just another reason why the Atlanta Falcons are having serious trouble selling season tickets! Thomas Dimitroff is TERRIBLE! He needs to go. People who have been long time season ticket holders are speaking with their wallets. I gave up my seats after many years, and have no regrets, especially after reading reports like this.

MaxMose
MaxMose

no surprise---another dimitroff bust.

adarian652
adarian652

Falcons need to draft better that's the first problem that needs to be addressed!!!!!

Josh Yawn
Josh Yawn

He played pretty well. Idk what they are doing.

ATL89
ATL89

Durant wouldn't have been a bad move if he would've stayed healthy. To me Durant was brought in as a support piece while the team build through the draft.

GaLatino
GaLatino

 I have no problem with letting go of Durant.  He was very good when healthy, but as he has been everywhere else in his career, couldn't stay healthy here.  


My bigger issue is with keeping guys like Brooks Reed, who was the complete dud I predicted when they signed him.  Paul Worrilow is all heart and effort but he is not a starter in this league.  He's a backup at best, and probably should be a special teams guy.


Lastly, as much as I hate Biermann, maybe he fits into Quinn's scheme if used properly.  All in all, I'm still not one to have faith in the Falcons' 25 GM's.

tyger
tyger

@GaLatino Durant missed 3 games. When you play hard, you get hurt sometimes. Others arent hurt b/c they arent hitting.

Big Wally
Big Wally

How many failed, ex GM's were added to the payroll today?

DogTheMan
DogTheMan

Ok you cut Durant.. What about Brooks Reed?? Paul Worrilow?? Koy Beirman?? They are slow and non-impactful also.. Pitiful..

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

I heard he was cut because he was banging the cheerleasders two at a time.

GT71
GT71

Lots of questions; few answers.  Mid-week filler column from the experts at that - the AJC and MB.  Next time, how about getting some input, get some more answers and THEN write the column. But this is a 'blog', so journalism takes the backseat - the way-back seat.



CMPINATL
CMPINATL

Durant gave you more than Brooks Reed but you cut him 1st? This team is so poorly built (from the top down) they may not win 5 games next year.

UGA75
UGA75

Mark Badley, once again you wrote up to the caliber of your name. This column was so bad it could have been written by my Golden Retriever. It would seem by now that you would be tired of making a fool out of yourself second guessing people paid to do a job.

GT71
GT71

@UGA75  and you were expecting Grantland Rice or Furman Bisher?  Not gonna happen.  Not with today's AJC.

patriotdog
patriotdog

Falcon fan since day 1, draft 1.

Artie and Tommy tell you what the watch is made of, how it was conceived and why their watch is the best around, when all you wanted was to know what time it was. Ego run amok, knowledge run over on 285.

I'm done. They can embarrass the city all they want. I have stopped caring.

On a more important note, good luck to the owner as he fights his cancer. Good luck, Arthur.

NorwegianBlue
NorwegianBlue

Mark, you are going too easy when you say your reaction is "hmmm." I believe most Falcons fans at this point react with a WTF? to almost everything the organization does. Blank is one bad decision away from losing a lot of fans altogether. Goodwill is on short supply.

UGA76
UGA76

Atlanta is correct in getting rid of players once they decide they can’t help them win.  The best way to do this is to churn players.  Atlanta needs to try the Seattle strategy and concentrate on bringing in as many post draft free agents as possible.  That was how Carroll built the Seahawks.  New England does this also and last year brought in a free agent Center, David Andrews and he ended up starting the first 11 games.  Atlanta seems to have a bunch of ex GMs but no one willing to do the hard work of churning players looking for a few that can help them win. 

Reidtt
Reidtt

Mark, do you know anything about football?

candlin14
candlin14

Amen. Bradley is beyond clueless.

sgmock
sgmock

He could not stay on the field consistently. We need players who are going to play. No question he is good when healthy but he cannot stay healthy

David McCallum
David McCallum

@sgmock That's the one problem with William Moore. He was hardly available so I believe the Falcons did the right thing by releasing him. Let's face it, Durant was a stop gap anyway. He is an injury prone player, who like Moore, seemed to never be healthy.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

They got too many chiefs and not enough foot soldiers. If the best they can do is Durant then their in trouble.

Elijay Calling
Elijay Calling

I would be interested to know how many of TDs picks or trades were persistently injured and unable to play or perform consistently leading to them being cut. Particularly in the draft TD seems to aim for value picks where guys have dropped down the board due to injury concerns. Unfortunately instead of proving himself to be astute he only seems to reinforce the view that his peers are far smarter than he is. 

David McCallum
David McCallum

@Elijay Calling There is absolutely no way the Falcons select a WR in the first round. The Falcons need to build their team from the inside out, which means bringing in two young LBs in free agency. A lot of people seem to be afraid of the young man from Mississippi, but I happened to think that he would perfect for what the Falcons want to do on D. 

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

After much thought and due diligence, I have decided the Falcons should draft in the first round a Wide receiver.....Last year Julio was doing it all, and when he wasn't effective neither was the team.... 

David McCallum
David McCallum

@TrueFan1 There is no way the Falcons select a WR in the first round. They simply have way too many holes to fill. Did you watch the Super Bowl? The trenches is where these games are won and lost.

saviorfaire
saviorfaire

There are plenty of other linebackers on that roster that should have been released before him. 

FrankieB
FrankieB

Durant was the best linebacker we had when healthy.  They must have decided he was never going to stay healthy..

DBDavid
DBDavid

There is too much talent in linebackers in free agency free up the money