7 players, including Alge Crumpler, Byron Leftwich, Wayne Gandy, Lewis Sanders, Jamin Elliott, Marcus Wilkins and Rod Coleman, were released Friday by the Atlanta Falcons.
This step is a marker of major reconstruction plans necessary in the new era without Michael Vick.
Crumpler made his first appearance as an NFL starter in a game against the Carolina Panthers on September 23rd, 2001. He caught his first two balls for a total of 13 yards. His first touchdown in a game was against the New Orleans Saints, on October 21st, 2001. Alge has earned 5 consecutive Pro Bowl honors (2003-2007), and has been the receiving leader for the Atlanta Falcons for two straight seasons. In 2005, Crumpler set the Falcons' single-season record for catches (65) and receiving yards (877) by a tight end.
After a highly successful training camp but disappointing pre-season during which his backup excelled, Leftwich was displaced from the Jaguars roster before the first game of 2007. David Garrard was named the starting quarterback for the Jaguars on August 31, 2007, with the team stating that Leftwich would be either cut or traded. Leftwich was cut on September 1, 2007, making him a free agent. On September 17, he was flown out to Atlanta to meet with Atlanta Falcons officials, citing a possible signing with the team. On September 18, Leftwich signed a two year deal with the Falcons with escalators attached that could make the deal worth up to $7 million.
Wayne Gandy most recently played for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. He was drafted as the 15th overall pick (1st round) of the 1994 NFL Draft by the L.A. Rams. Gandy spent five seasons with the Rams before spending four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. On March 2, 2003, Gandy signed a six-year deal with New Orleans Saints. After three seasons with the Saints, he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons on April 7, 2006 for Bryan Scott and a draft pick. The trade was made because they wanted to find a replacement for Kevin Shaffer who signed with the Cleveland Browns.
For the 2007 season, Gandy was named as one of the Falcons team captains.
Sanders was drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and played with the team through the 2004 season. He signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent in 2005 and played two years there. On March 7, 2007, the Atlanta Falcons signed Sanders.
Jamin Elliott was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round in 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Delaware.
Marcus Wilkins was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He played college football at Texas.
Rod Coleman most recently played for the Atlanta Falcons. He was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played college football at East Carolina.
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