With a little under a month until the NFL draft, free agency news has slowed to a trickle. Teams have almost no money to spend, and now front offices are in the process of finalizing their boards. It's unclear whether today's cuts were a product of teams looking at their draft needs, but the shocker today came from the Atlanta Falcons.
Earlier in free agency the Falcons made a long-term commitment to left tackle Sam Baker, and are looking to tie up Matt Ryan to a new extension. While it's unlikely either had an impact on Clabo, there will be plenty of questions if their potent offense struggles in 2013.
Clabo now becomes one of the best solutions for a team looking for a short-term answer on their offensive line. The last few weeks have been hard for offensive linemen, as Andre Smith and Eric Winston are still without teams. This could be a case of teams waiting to see how their draft classes shape up, before snapping up veterans to patch their final holes before training camp.
By shedding their roster of one of the league's best pass-blocking right tackles, it seems the Falcons are comfortable rolling the dice on their depth. While Mike Johnson is listed as the team's next-best right tackle, he's better suited to play guard.
The two-time Pro Bowler had a long road to the NFL by way of the Canadian Football League, but his end in Baltimore was quick. The Ravens decided to cut Ayanbadejo just one year into a three-year deal he signed in 2012.
General manager Ozzie Newson hasn't ruled out the possibility that the veteran could return to the Ravens, but it remains to be seen whether the 36-year-old linebacker will be welcomed back to an organization looking to trim more cap space this off-season.
Green Bay's offensive and defensive leaders are both in line to stay long-term, as the team are close to locking both players into extensions. These are those moves that were always a matter of 'when,' not 'if' but fans should be happy to know that two of the Packers' most important players are ready to sign long-term deals.
From the obvious to the seemingly impossible, it looks like JaMarcus Russell will get another shot in the NFL. The former #1 overall pick flamed out of the league, had issues with possessing illegal codeine syrup in 2010, and looked to be the next in line as a cautionary tale for rookies.
There is a chasm between the NFL's 'haves' and 'have nots' at the quarterback position, and Russell getting another shot is proof positive of this gap. Teams in need of a quarterback have no greater needs, and are often willing to throw whatever they can at a wall, hoping something will stick. It will be on Russell to prove he's matured vastly, and gotten himself back into playing shape if he hopes to land on a roster.
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