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Erik Coleman Released By Atlanta Falcons, Becomes A Free Agent

Former Washington State safety Erik Coleman has been released by the Atlanta Falcons and will become a free agent ahead of the 2011 NFL season. Coleman, a seven-year NFL veteran, spent three seasons in Atlanta, recording 227 tackles with the Falcons. With a young nucleus in the secondary, the Falcons no longer had a need for Coleman, instead opting to clear cap-room by dropping him following the 2010 season.

The report, passed along by SB Nation Atlanta, serves as confirmation of rumors that sprouted up on Tuesday.

The Falcons found themselves set at the safety position with Thomas DeCoud at free safety and William Moore at strong safety and rookie Shann Schillinger adding depth. This meant Coleman, who had started every game since 2008 before suffering an injury in Week 1 against Pittsburgh, was a very expensive backup

With the NFL on the verge of a lockout amid tense collective bargaining agreement negotiations, Coleman's future is uncertain. With no CBA, free agents are stuck, unable to sign new contracts. It leaves Coleman in a perilous spot as he waits for the owners and NFL Players' Association to come to some sort of agreement ahead of the March 4 deadline.

Coleman could end up in Seattle when all is said and done as either depth or in a starting role. While Earl Thomas has one safety spot locked up for the foreseeable future, the Seahawks do help at the other safety spot, currently occupied by Lawyer Milloy. It's possible the team takes a look at Coleman, whenever we get a resolution to the CBA negotiations.

For more on the situation, stay tuned to our StoryStream. For more on Coleman's time in Atlanta, check out SB Nation Atlanta's StoryStream.