Falcons cut RB Michael Turner, CB Dunta Robinson, DE John Abraham

The Falcons began reshaping their roster Friday by releasing three veteran starters: running back Michael Turner, cornerback Dunta Robinson and defensive end John Abraham.

There had been speculation in recent weeks that Atlanta could part ways with Turner, who joined the team in 2008 and promptly rushed for 1,699 yards (4.5 YPC) and 17 touchdowns, but managed just 800 yards (3.9 YPC) last season.

Robinson, the Texans' former first-round pick, signed a six-year, $54 million deal with the Falcons in 2010. He managed just four interceptions in three seasons, although he had 24 passes defended.

Abraham, meanwhile, played at a high level during much of his seven years in Atlanta. Originally drafted by the Jets, Abraham had 32.5 sacks the last three seasons, including 10 sacks in 2012.

There should be a market for all three players, although all are on the wrong side of 30 and on the downsides of solid NFL careers. In general, running backs don't command much in free agency, especially ones with more than 1,600 carries over an eight years. Abraham should find work as a situational pass rusher, while Robinson could be in line for the biggest payday. He's undersized but tough, and in today's pass-happy NFL, defensive backs are in demand.

For the Falcons, the moves  reportedly free up $16 million in salary-cap space, but now the organization is tasked with finding starters to replace the ones they just dumped.

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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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