Jackson is being released by the Falcons, Vaughn McClure of ESPN reports. Jackson is 30 years old and is coming off of a season where he only recorded 13 combined tackles. He will look to find a home with another NFL team in free agency.
Jackson racked up 31 tackles in 16 games for the Falcons in 2015. This is the second consecutive season that Jackson has been sackless. He was never a dominant pass rusher with the Chiefs, but he did have seven combined sacks in his final two years in Kansas City. He still has three years left on his contract, but the Falcons will likely need to see a little more out of Jackson if he wants to stay on the roster for three more years.
Falcons defensive tackle Tyson Jackson can sit back and relax after signing a five-year, $25 million deal with the team last season, but he's showing more dedication than ever. Jackson, who currently weighs 318 pounds, hired a personal chef with the goal of slimming down to 305 pounds, per ESPN.com. "I just started recently, and constantly, week by week, I want to trim down," Jackson said. "I got my personal chef at the end of March. I know Matt Ryan used her, and a couple Falcons in the past have used her, too." Jackson wants to slime down because the Falcons' defensive schemes will be much different this year. Last season he was encouraged to be as big as possible because the team pictured him as a run-stuffer. This year's defense is a more complex version of last season's 4-3 scheme and it incorporates a lot of 3-4 principles, so Jackson's big frame isn't an ideal fit. "Playing this 4-3 style of defense, there's no reason to be heavy because you're not two-gapping no more," Jackson said. "Everything is ball, key and get-off. So, that's pretty much the reason for [losing weight]." Jackson started all 16 games for the Falcons last year and recorded 22 tackles.
New Falcons coach Dan Quinn met with the media at the Indianapolis scouting combine on Thursday and discussed his plans for the team's defensive players. The biggest news was that the team plans to move Prince Shembo back to outside linebacker. Shembo was drafted as an outside linebacker, but injuries on the defense required him to move inside. Shembo had 59 tackles for the Falcons in his rookie season, but he'll likely play more of a role in the pass rush from the outside. He had nine sacks as a senior at Notre Dame while playing OLB. Quinn also plans to use Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai on the inside. They split time between defensive tackle and end last season, but Quinn was impressed with their size at the tackle spots. Soliai had 29 tackles and a sack last season. Jackson had 22 tackles. Quinn said Dezmen Southward, who played exclusively at safety last season, will get a look at the cornerback position as well. Southward had 23 tackles, one sack and two pass defenses last year.
The Falcons have agreed to a deal with free agent defensive lineman Tyson Jackson, reports the NFL Network. Jackson spent the first five years of his career with the Chiefs. In 2013, he had four sacks and 33 total tackles.