William Moore, Justin Durant Released by Falcons: Latest Comments, Reaction

Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15:  Benjamin Watson #82 of the New Orleans Saints is pursued by William Moore #25 of the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons announced on Monday that they released safety William Moore and linebacker Justin Durant.

Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn commented on both players, per the team's official website: "We want to thank both of these guys for their commitment and work ethic. They battled through injuries to give everything they had for their teammates this season and I will always be appreciative of that.”

Moore, 6'0" and 221 pounds, was limited to just 11 games in 2015 but started in all of them. He had 51 tackles and two interceptions in his seventh year in the NFL—all with the Falcons. The safety signed a five-year deal in May 2013 and earned $18 million the past three seasons. 

Jeanna Thomas of the Falcoholic commented on his departure:  

Durant, who began his NFL career in 2007 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, played just one year with the Falcons after stops with the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.

The 6'1", 230-pounder started 12 of 13 games he played in during 2015, recording 82 tackles and three passes defended. He was set to earn $1.75 million next season, but the team will take just an $833,000 cap hit for his release, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Atlanta saves about $4.5 million by cutting Moore.

The Falcons failed to make the playoffs at 8-8 last season, while the defense ranked seventh in yards per game and tied for 21st in points allowed, per ESPN.com. It's possible Atlanta was looking to get younger on defense, as both players will be 31 next season.