On Tuesday, kicker Matt Bryant declared on Twitter he intended to continue his playing career for an 18th season. However, it will not be in Atlanta.
Bryant had two years left on his contract. The team confirmed the move.
"Matt Bryant will be remembered as one of the greatest Falcons of all time," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said.
Turning 44 in May, Bryant continues to be a reliable, big-legged booter, converting 20 of 21 field goal attempts, with a long of 57 yards, and 33 of 35 extra points in 2018. As one of the best kickers in the entire NFL, the only question mark with the aging veteran would be health, after he missed three games with a hamstring injury.
The Falcons have kicker Giorgio Tavecchio under contract in 2019 for cheap. Tavecchio nailed all five field goal attempts and eight extra points in the three games he replaced an injured Bryant last season.
Atlanta releasing Bryant continues a trend of general manager Thomas Dimitroff shedding salary early in the offseason. The Falconscut corner Robert Alford on Tuesday. Jettisoning Bryant saves Atlanta $2.83 million against the salary cap in 2019 with $1.33 million in dead money.
With a dearth of reliable veteran kickers throughout the NFL, Bryant should have no trouble finding a landing spot to continue his pro career.