Falcons release defensive end Derrick Shelby

The Falcons released veteran defensive end Derrick Shelby the team announced Friday, ending his two-year stint in Atlanta.

The organization signed Shelby to a four-year, $18 million contract in March 2016, after he spent his first four season with the Miami Dolphins. Shelby played in six games for the Falcons in 2016, recording eight tackles, before a torn Achilles forced him to miss the rest of the season.

He returned in 2017, but never truly regained his form. He started 14 games, but recorded only 30 total tackles and one sack while splitting time with rookie Takk McKinley and fellow veteran Brooks Reed.

On Wednesday, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the the team was going to make tough decisions this offseason to free salary-cap space. The cut will save the team around $3.25 million. Earlier in the day, the Falcons released tight end Levine Toilolo and saved $2.5 million.

The Falcons are working to sign quarterback Matt Ryan to an extension, while figuring out if they want to go after a defensive tackle or offensive guard in free agency.