Poole doesn't expect to be tendered as a restricted free agent, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
It seems the Falcons have already notified the 26-year-old cornerback of their intention to let him test the open market. Poole is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he piled up 74 tackles (53 solo), three interceptions and three sacks from the nickelback spot, but his work in coverage apparently didn't impress the Atlanta front office. He may have to settle for a No. 4/5 cornerback job if other teams have a similar assessment.
Poole tallied 74 tackles (53 solo), including three sacks, and six passes defensed, including three interceptions, across 16 games in 2018.
Poole had his best season as a pro in 2018, setting career marks in every category except passes defensed. He's operated as the team's nickel cornerback behind starters Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. Barring a roster shift at the position, Poole will figure to play a similar role for the team in 2019.
Poole had seven tackles (three solo), an interception and a fumble recovery in Sunday's win over the Panthers.
Poole has been heavily active over the last three games with 19 tackles (12 solo), two interceptions, a sack and a fumble recovery. The 26-year-old played 77 of 91 defensive snaps Sunday, second only to Desmond Trufant among Atlanta cornerbacks.
Poole collected six combined tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery during Sunday's 40-14 win against the Cardinals.
The veteran nickelback has demonstrated a keen nose for the football over the past two weeks, finishing first or second on the team in tackles against Green Bay and Arizona. Poole and the Falcons secondary have been more sturdy against the pass of late, holding its past three opponents to an anemic 153 yards per game through the air (278 passing YPG against prior). In Week 16, he'll be responsible for trying to hold down an ice cold Cam Newton, who has gone consecutive games without throwing a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 2 and 3 of the 2017 season (multiple passing TDs in 11 straight contests prior to recent two-game slide).
Poole collected six combined tackles, two pass deflections and an interception during Sunday's 34-29 win against Tampa Bay.
Poole has taken advantage of ample playing time this season with defensive backs Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Neal (Achilles) both on injured reserve. The 25-year-old has fielded 81 percent of the defensive snaps this year, following a more modest 60.1-percent timeshare in 2017. During a crucial Week 6 victory over Tampa Bay, Poole came up big once again by intercepting a deflected pass in the end zone to keep the Bucs at a two-possession deficit early in the second half. Next comes a Monday night showdown against the Giants, and a passing offense that ranks in the bottom half of the league with 260.8 yards per game.
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