At 28, the seventh-year veteran is still a capable edge-setter when healthy, and by no means is it a sure bet that Atlanta will choose to cut ties with him just one year into the contract he signed in 2016. In addition to a knee injury early in the year, Clayborn was a spectator for the Falcons' loss in Super Bowl LI after tearing his biceps.Also, Atlanta's depth chart on the defensive front looks a lot different than it did when Clayborn arrived back in 2015.
It's believed that Clayborn will be a full go for training camp, and if that's the case, he'll have a chance to earn a spot as a rotational lineman in 2017. If he can't stay on the practice field this summer, Clayborn has the makings of one of the bigger "names" who could be getting that knock at the door. Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson is a renaissance man who enjoyed a renaissance season for the New Orleans Saints back in 2015, posting career numbers past his 30th birthday.
He could be flanked by another new face in rookie fourth-round pick Eddie Jackson of Alabama. Calling him a good player might be stretching it, although in his defense he's only been in the league two years and it's hardly unheard of for a young defensive back to struggle early in his NFL career.
Given Demps' age and skill set, it's reasonable to suspect he'll start at strong safety—the position Jones-Quartey made 12 starts at in 2016. However, Jones-Quartey does have 16 starts on his NFL resume, and the notion of the "most talented" player to be cut is relative to the talent on each NFL roster.
For those of you who haven't seen The Turk is football vernacular for the assistant coach who gets the unenviable task of fetching players so that they can walk the green mile to the meeting where they will be informed they're no longer on the team.
Usually, those players are late-round rookies and veteran journeymen who spend their football lives on the fringes of rosters.