The feel-good story of the Atlanta Falcons bringing home running back Mike Davis is finished.
NFL reporter Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus, along with other sources, reports the Falcons are releasing Davis. The move will save Atlanta $2.5 million against the 2022 salary cap.
Davis, who is an Atlanta native, signed a two-year deal with the Falcons last offseason. The Falcons signed Davis to solve their running back problems after he set career highs in 2020.
But Davis struggled to find running room in 2021 while fellow running back Cordarrelle Patterson excelled both out of the backfield and in the passing game. Then, the Falcons drafted BYU running back Tyler Allgeier at No. 151 overall in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
As a mid-Day 3 selection, the Falcons drafting Allgeier didn’t automatically mark the end of Davis’ tenure in Atlanta. But with 2022 expected to be a rebuilding year, the Falcons elected to decrease the bodies in the running back room. They also save salary cap space by cutting Davis.
In 2021, Davis posted 503 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry, which isn’t far behind his 3.7 yards per attempt average. But the Falcons were likely expecting more after he posted 3.9 yards per carry in 2020.
Davis also caught 44 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown last year.
In addition to Patterson, who the Falcons re-signed to a two-year deal this offseason, and Allgeier, Atlanta has running backs Damien Williams, Qadree Ollison and Caleb Huntley signed to contracts.
Last season, Patterson set career highs with 618 rushing yards and 548 receiving yards. He also led the Falcons with 11 touchdowns. Patterson came into last season with only 18 offensive touchdowns in his eight-year career.
Cutting Davis means the Falcons are just shy of $4 million in salary cap space with 80 players signed to contracts according to Spotrac. Only the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers have less money remaining to spend this offseason.