ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have released cornerback Robert Alford, a second-round pick in 2013 who had 10 career interceptions but none this season.
The move, announced by the team on Tuesday night, could clear the way for Isaiah Oliver, a 2018 second-round pick, to start. As a rookie, Oliver cut into Alford's playing time.
Alford signed a four-year, $38 million contract extension after the 2016 season. His release will clear $7.9 million in cap space for the 2019 season.
In a statement released by the team, general manager Thomas Dimitroff thanked the 30-year-old Alford "for all that he brought to the team during his six seasons in Atlanta."
"He was a significate contributor to our defense and we have a great deal of respect for him," Dimitroff said. "We wish Robert all the best going forward."
Alford used his Twitter account to say "Thank you Atlanta for 6 incredible seasons. Sucks that it ended on this note. I enjoyed playing in this incredible city."
Alford also said "I'm excited for the next chapter."
Alford had 50 tackles and was plagued by penalties in his 15 games in 2018.
His career highlight came when he returned an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown in Atlanta's Super Bowl 51 loss to the Patriots.
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