Falcons release CB Asante Samuel and LB Stephen Nicholas

Asante Samuel played two seasons in Atlanta. (USATSI)
Asante Samuel played two seasons in Atlanta. (USATSI)

The Falcons have released cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Stephen Nicholas, the team announced Wednesday.

The move will save the Falcons $7.5 million in cash and $6.5 million in cap space.

Samuel, a fourth-round pick in 2003, began his career with the Patriots where he had 22 interceptions in five seasons. In 2008, he signed a six-year, $56 million deal with the Eagles where he had 23 interceptions in four seasons, including nine in 2009. During the 2012 offseason, Samuel was traded to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick. He started 10 games in 2013 and managed just one interception.

The 33-year-old was scheduled to make $3.5 million in base salary in 2014.

Nicholas was taken by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played in 13 games last season and registered 33 tackles and one sack. He was set to make $3 million in base salary in 2014.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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