Defensive end Jamaal Anderson and wide receiver Michael Jenkins will be released. Neither player was selected by the current front office and coaching staff, though Jenkins did receive a contract extension in 2008, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith’s first seasons in Atlanta.
Selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Arkansas, Anderson’s playing time has steadily decreased over the last four seasons. After starting all 44 games he was active from 2007-09, Anderson started just three of 16 games in 2010, totaling a career-low 21 tackles while matching his career-high with two quarterback sacks.
Through playing-time incentives, Anderson’s base salary in 2011 had escalated to $3.558 million.
Jenkins was picked 29th overall in 2004, and the former Ohio State Buckeye has 276 receptions for 3,512 yards and 20 touchdowns over the last seven seasons. Jenkins was limited to just 11 games last season, and with Roddy White the No. 1 receiver and the Falcons trading a bevy of picks to trade up for Julio Jones, Jenkins and his $3.5 million in base salary this season were expendable.