Ryan Schraeder, who went from an undrafted rookie from Valdosta State to a starter in the Super Bowl for the Falcons, was released Wednesday.
Schraeder’s agent confirmed the news and the team later announced the move as a post-June 1 designation.
Schraeder was in trouble after losing his starting right tackle job late last season and after the Falcons signed his replacement, Ty Sambrailo, to a three-year, $18 million extension.
By cutting Schraeder post June 1, the Falcons gained $6.45 million in salary-cap room and will have a $3.8 million hit on their dead money on the $188.2 million before the start of the new business year Wednesday.
The Falcons announced the signings of guards Jamon Brown and James Carpenter to multi-year deals reported Tuesday. Brown signed for three years and Carpenter signed for four.
Schraeder was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013.
He made the team and went on to play in 88 games and make 73 starts.
During the Falcons run to Super Bowl LI in 2016, Schraeder started every game in the regular season and playoffs.
Last season, his play started to slip, and he was replaced by Sambrailo after 13 starts.
Schraeder took his demotion hard.
Schraeder was the classic late-bloomer and developed in to an NFL starter. He signed a five-year, $34 million contract extension in 2016.
Schraeder was not having one of his better seasons. He had trouble against the Steelers’ T.J. Watt and the Saints’ Cam Jordan in particular.
“From what I was told, we’ll find out more after the season and just take it from there,” Schraeder said late last season.
Schraeder was scheduled to make base salaries of $6.25 million in 2019, $5.75 in 2020 and $6 million in 2021. But after the demotion the Falcons signaled that he would be a cap casualty.
Schraeder wants to keep playing in the NFL.
“I still feel like I can play,” Schraeder said. “I feel like I’ve got some gas in the tank. I feel like a good offseason, getting some rest and getting my confidence back up, I’ll be good.”
Schraeder, who’ll turn 31 in May, said he’s generally healthy. He missed games in 2017 after suffering a concussion.
“I don’t have any specific injuries,” Schraeder said. “I have played in the NFL for six years now, and I’ve played physical. Things bother you, but nothing that needs surgery or anything at this point.”
Schraeder, who’s 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds, believes he could play inside at guard if needed.
“I think I could,” Schraeder said when asked if he could play guard. “It’s a little bit different. Things happen quicker. I think it would be easier in pass protection, but as far as everything else, the run game, I don’t know.”
The Falcons traded a fifth-round pick for Sambrailo to serve as the swing tackle in 2017. He’s now the starter.
With the departure of Schraeder, the only reserve tackle from last season is Matt Gono, an undrafted rookie who did not play in any games.
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