Atlanta Falcons waive guard Jon Asamoah


The Atlanta Falcons have taken veteran right guard Jon Asamoah off season-ending IR after reaching an injury settlement, making Asamoah a free agent.

The Atlanta Falcons, according to the teams’ official Twitter account, have parted ways with veteran right guard Jon Asamoah. Atlanta signed Asamoah to a five-year deal worth $22.5 million in 2014. Asamoah had been on season-ending Injured Reserve since the final week of the preseason due to a nagging hip injury.

Jon Asamoah’s tenure in Atlanta comes to a surprising end, not even two years into his five-year deal. Asamoah was a key free agent acquisition made by the Atlanta Falcons heading into 2014, along with nose tackle Paul Soliai, defensive end Tyson Jackson, and kick returner Devin Hester in the Falcons’ effort to get “tougher and more explosive”.

In his one year as a starting right guard for the Atlanta Falcons, Jon Asamoah was arguably the best offensive lineman on the porous front of the 2014 club. However once offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan brought in his zone blocking scheme, it became clear that Jon Asamoah was not going to fit into the Atlanta Falcons’ new protection schemes.

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He fell behind veteran free agent Chris Chester at right guard and rather than sliding Asamoah over to left like many thought the Atlanta Falcons would, the front office made a trade late in the preseason to acquire veteran left guard Andy Levitre from the Tennessee Titans.

It seemed that once Levitre came to Atlanta that the Falcons would end up waiving their highly priced backup guard, but the front office was apparently not willing to take the big hit to their salary cap. Instead since Asamoah was dealing with a hip injury, the Atlanta Falcons placed him on season-ending IR and did not play for the club ever again.

This is yet another bad free agency move made by general manager Thomas Dimitroff. While this isn’t as egregious as some previous ones (who could have forecasted a philosophical change up front?), it’s another example of a swing and a miss by Dimitroff and the entire Atlanta Falcons personnel department.

Since Jon Asamoah played very well in Atlanta in 2014 and in Kansas City before that, he will likely have a great 2016 for whichever team ends up signing him. He still has value on the interior of a more traditional man blocking scheme, but his time is unfortunately up in Atlanta.

What this move could hint at is that the Atlanta Falcons do plan on keeping offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan at least through next season. Shanahan has received a great deal of criticism during the Atlanta Falcons’ six-game slide, but orchestrated a great game plan against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15. The offense looked balanced for the first time in months and perhaps the Shanahan ZBS is going to stick in Atlanta for the long-term.

A lot of the most recent roster moves that the Atlanta Falcons have made have accounted for scheme fit on the offensive side of the football. If owner Arthur Blank or head coach Dan Quinn were going to part ways with Kyle Shanahan after year one in Atlanta, it wouldn’t make sense to waive players like Jon Asamoah and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson if the offense was going to go in a different direction in 2016.

Next: Thomas Dimitroff: Already being replaced?

If I had to guess, Dan Quinn will keep his coaching staff intact for the most part, maybe making a few minor changes here and there. However, do expect Blank to do some major overhauling in the player personnel department, likely bringing in front office people more in line with Dan Quinn’s coaching and player personnel philosophies.