In February of 2021, the Falcons cut Ricardo Allen in a move that saved $6.25 million against the cap. He was an instrumental piece in the Falcons locker room during his time in Atlanta. He consistently praised his teammates after wins and spoke candidly about them after losses, remaining optimistic regardless of the outcome or how he played.
Rico is a brilliant football player, and he provided a vast wealth of inspiration for fans. Drafted, cut, practice squad, position switch, and made it to a second contract; he inspires many and will forever be a fan favorite in Atlanta.
From practice squad to team captain, Rico embodied what it meant to play for your teammates under Dan Quinn. However, things just didn’t pan out for him with the new regime. In what was a down year, Allen started 12 games for Atlanta in 2020, finishing with 25 tackles, five passes defended, and two interceptions.
Rico needed a fresh start, and the Falcons were moving in a different direction under Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot. His release was the perfect opportunity for him to “do something different, too.”
"I didn't want to restart. I knew that new coaching staff was going to come in with not very much respect for me. I was ready to do something different, too."
Great hearing from former #Falcons safety Ricardo Allen, who loves Atlanta but says his release came at the right time pic.twitter.com/pA5ZecLeIy
— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) February 10, 2022
Allen got the second chance in Cincinnati and has made the absolute most of his opportunity. He’ll play in the Super Bowl on Sunday and try to impart wisdom on a Bengals team mostly comprised of players who have never been in this situation. Good luck, Rico.