Leftwich, Crumpler Among Seven Cut By Falcons

Quarterback Byron Leftwich and tight end Alge Crumpler were among seven players released by the Atlanta Falcons today, the team announced.

The Falcons began remaking their roster under their new general manager, Tom Dimitroff, and just-hired coach, Mike Smith.

"This is a difficult day for the entire organization," Dimitroff said in a written statement released by the club. "A number of these players have contributed to this organization on and off the field at a high level and we greatly appreciate their efforts. These decisions weren't easy, but we felt they were necessary to build a team in the long-term best interest of the Falcons and its fans."

Leftwich was signed by the Falcons after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before the just-completed season, but failed to stay healthy and win the starting job decisively. Smith was the Jaguars' defensive coordinator before being hired as the Falcons' head coach.

Crumpler had 42 catches this past season and had 316 receptions in seven seasons with the Falcons.

"As a football coach it is never easy to cut any player, especially veteran players who have been valuable members of the organization," Smith said in a written statement.

The Falcons also released offensive tackle Wayne Gandy, defensive tackle Rod Coleman, cornerback Lewis Sanders, linebacker Marcus Wilkins and wide receiver Jamin Elliott.

By Mark Maske |  February 15, 2008; 1:29 PM ET  | Category:  Falcons
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