Atlanta Falcons waive Hankerson, put Moore on IR


The Atlanta Falcons made a series of interesting roster moves on Tuesday before their final road game of 2015 in Jacksonville, cutting wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and putting strong safety William Moore on IR.

According to the Atlanta Falcons’ official Twitter handle, the organization has decided to remove wide receiver Leonard Hankerson from the season-ending Injured Reserve list in favor of cutting the often-injured wideout. Atlanta then put long-time, but often-injured strong safety on season-ending IR instead.

Not that both players went on IR for the Atlanta Falcons was a surprise, but cutting Hankerson not even a year with the Falcons is shocking. When Atlanta was playing well at the start of the year, Hank was the team’s second best wideout behind the venerable Julio Jones. Hankerson had tremendous familiarity with new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s West Coast system, but even that wasn’t enough to keep in Atlanta through the holidays, as he is now on the waiver wire.

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Putting Moore on IR essentially means that the Atlanta Falcons aren’t concerned about an improbable playoff push anymore, as they would want their most seasoned defensive back on the field if they were to make the NFC Playoffs. Joining kicker Matt Bryant on IR is the sad truth that Atlanta’s 2015 season will come to a close in three weeks time.

From the Atlanta Falcons’ series of transactions made on Tuesday, I can draw a few possible hints of what Atlanta may look to do with this club’s future.:

  1. The Leonard Hankerson waiving could mean that a.) Justin Hardy is ready to take his spot in the slot. b.) Atlanta plans to keep wide receiver Nick Williams beyond this year. c.) Atlanta grew tired of Hankerson dropping passes and getting hurt all the time. d.) The Falcons may part ways with Shanahan at the end of the year and Hankerson is strictly a system fit in the front offices’ eyes. e.). All the above.
  2. The William Moore designation to IR could mean that a.) The Atlanta Falcons want to have Willy Mo fully healthy for 2016. b.) They may end up cutting him and want to give a well-respected player in the Falcons locker room the ability to start fresh with a new team on a clean bill of health. c.) Atlanta needs to go with a safety in the 2016 NFL Draft and may want to see what they have in young player Kemal Ishmael to decide what round to acquire a safety.

If Atlanta Falcons fans want to find something to watch besides losing in the final three weeks in the season, perhaps focus they could focus their attention on Justin Hardy, Nick Williams, and Kemal Ishmael to see how they play with extended repetitions.

Just because the Atlanta Falcons’ playoff hopes are fading fast doesn’t mean we can’t draw some meaning from the final three weeks. We will have the pain and pleasure to see who gives up on plays and who plays hard through the echo of the whistle.

I’m looking forward to seeing who on the team exudes the most professionalism from now through the end of the fourth quarter in Week 17. Again, the Atlanta Falcons will have to make some wholesale changes to their roster and possibly their coaching staff and front office.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 15

Dan Quinn will survive this season, but he will have to do a strong job of evaluating who wants to play hard once the championship hopes have completely evaporated. This is time of the year where jobs are both won and lost. Here’s to playing hard the next three Championship Sundays. Rise Up!