Falcons shockingly part ways with veteran defender

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It was reported that the Falcons signed former USFL Defensive Player of the Year Frank Ginda today, which came as a little surprising because it meant the club had to make a corresponding move. It was just a matter of who among the linebackers.

Kaden Elliss and Troy Andersen are expected to start and are roster locks, leaving one of Mykal Walker, Nate Landman, Tae Davis, and Mike Jones Jr. for the Falcons to part ways with.

In my estimation, the most likely candidate was Mike Jones Jr., an undrafted free agent that didn’t necessarily separate himself from the rest of the group through training camp. However, I did bring up the veteran Walker being in jeopardy of losing his roster spot.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if someone like Mykal Walker, who many consider a lock to make the roster, is in jeopardy of losing his job because of his lack of ties to Nielsen.”

Now, we know that is exactly what’s happened. According to Tom Pelissero, the Falcons are waiving Mykal Walker after three seasons in Atlanta.

It’s shocking because Walker had established himself as a reliable special teamer and by far the most experienced backup on the roster. There’s no doubt that he suffered his fair share of struggles when he was on the field, especially last year when he was named the starter next to Rashaan Evans before Troy Andersen replaced him.

In 2022, he received a ton of opportunities to play off-ball linebacker, and in the two seasons prior, he was a mainstay in the third phase of the game. It’s stunning that the Falcons waived a player with that kind of versatility. He’s not a starter in this league, but I assumed he was a more capable backup than anything on the roster right now.

Over his career with the Falcons, he earned 20 starts while accumulating 187 combined tackles, three interceptions, and a sack. He didn’t look particularly impressive in the club’s first exhibition on Friday against the Dolphins, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

Nevertheless, we wish Mykal Walker the absolute best in his next destination.

The linebacker position was already one of the thinner groups on the team, and this move makes it even worse. I would expect another signing; a veteran could stabilize this unit. If Rashaan Evans is willing to accept a reserve role, I’d be all for the Falcons bringing him back.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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