Falcons cut starting defensive tackle Jackson in surprising move

ATLANTA -- In a surprising move announced without comment from coach Bobby Petrino or general manager Rich McKay, the Atlanta Falcons cut starting defensive tackle Grady Jackson on Tuesday.

Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said Petrino would address the move on Wednesday.

Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 350-pound run-stopper, led the league with 13 tackles for a loss last season. The 11-year veteran had 21 tackles, including 5 1/2 for losses, and one sack this year.

Jackson has started 22 of the last 23 games. His surprise exit leaves rookie sixth-round pick Trey Lewis as the starter.

Jackson filed a lawsuit against the team in the offseason, claiming defamation and invasion of privacy caused by the release of his medical records. Jackson claimed the release of the report that he failed a physical last summer hurt his value as a free agent.

The two sides settled before training camp.

Lewis has 15 tackles. He made two starts when Rod Coleman and Jonathan Babineaux were held out because of knee injuries.

The Falcons (1-6) are off this week before a Nov. 4 home game against San Francisco.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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