The Super Bowl is complete, meaning we're now in salary-shedding season.
Falcons cornerback Robert Alford is the first to go. Atlanta is releasing the 30-year-old defender, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported, per two sources informed of the move. The team later made the move official.
"We thank Robert for all that he brought to the team during his six seasons in Atlanta," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "He was a significant contributor to our defense and we have a great deal of respect for him. We wish Robert all the best going forward."
Alford was due $8.5 million in 2019 and carried a cap number of $9.1 million, per Over The Cap. The move will save the Falcons $7.9 million in cap space.
Atlanta is projected to have just $14.4 million in cap space after finishing 7-9 in 2018, and could use the additional space to rehab its roster. Of their top 15 salaries, Alford's cap-savings difference was the largest by a significant margin, bringing sense to what is simply a business move on the part of the team.
Alford has spent his entire career with the Falcons, appearing in 88 games in six seasons, recording 303 tackles, 85 passes defended, 10 interceptions, one forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns.