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- DE Patrick Kerney Voids Contract

Chris Pokorny February 26, 2007
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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The Atlanta Falcons took a hit on their defensive line when defensive end Patrick Kerney voided the final two years of his contract with the team. Kerney likely wants to explore free agency, especially since he could potentially be the most sought-after free agent defensive end this season since Dwight Freeny, Justin Smith, and Charles Grant have all been named franchise players for their respective teams.

Kerney is coming off of an injury, but that shouldn't affect teams' interest in him too much. Although the Falcons would like to bring Kerney back, they are only $10 million under the cap and new head coach Bobby Petrino may feel that the team needs more work with other positions. Kerney, a first-round pick in the 1999 draft, had made 105 straight starts before tearing a right pectoral muscle just after the mid-way point of last season. He had 4.5 sacks on the season.

"I've only got about five more years to play, and I've got to make the most out of it," said Kerney to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in terms of getting a big deal with another team. "As great as it would have been to finish my career with Atlanta, where everybody, especially the fans, have been great to me in my eight years there, the business side is there."

If Kerney does not sign with the Falcons, the team is ready to go with former fourth-round draft pick Chauncey Davis, who took over for Kerney last season following his injury. Atlanta had envisioned a tremendous defensive line last season when they signed John Abraham in free agency, but he only played in eight games due to injury.

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