The Falcons released Ben Hartsock, our best blocking tight end, along with cornerback Von Hutchins and defensive end Willie Evans. I don't need to tell you that Hartsock's release is a huge surprise, and must indicate that Tony Gonzalez and Justin Peelle have shown a lot as blockers this off-season. With the acquisition of Tye Hill, the Falcons are announcing a complete and total youth movement at cornerback by releasing Hutchins, who was kind of off everybody's radar this off-season. Evans was not expected to make the roster.
I'm actually kind of surprised Von Hutchins is still in the league. He was a mediocre CB for the Colts, drafted in the 6th round in 2004. However, by sticking around as long as he has, it shows Hutchins has some staying power in this league. He's also played for the Texans during his career. Hartstock is yet another failed third round selection by Bill Polian. He was drafted #68 overall in '04, just ahead of Chris Cooley and Bernard Berrian.
Hey, even an eventual Hall of Fame GM like Polian is human.
Even though Hartstock clearly is not in the same league (talent-wise) as Cooley or Berrian, he's a decent blocker, and may land with another team needing a back-up TE.
In other news, the Carolina Panthers have released big rookie defensive tackle Lonnie Harvey. You might remember Harvey from our pre-NFL Draft coverage. He was someone Colt Homer had on his radar as a late-round pick or possible rookie free agent. The Colts were very interested in Harvey prior to the draft. Now that he is a free agent, it is possible that Polian may swoop in and snatch him up.