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Falcons cut DE Derrick Shelby, reportedly will release TE Levine Toilolo

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The Sports Xchange
Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris (46) is stopped by Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Derrick Shelby (90) on a short run during the first half of an NFL game on November 12, 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris (46) is stopped by Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Derrick Shelby (90) on a short run during the first half of an NFL game on November 12, 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

The Atlanta Falcons are making cost-cutting moves that affect two players who were starters for most of the 2017 season.

The Falcons announced they have cut defensive end Derrick Shelby, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported the team plans to release tight end Levine Toilolo as well.

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Cutting Shelby will clear $3.25 million under the cap for the Falcons. Shelby was scheduled to make a base salary of $4.5 million in 2018.

The Falcons signed Shelby to a four-year, $18 million contract in March of 2016. He sustained a torn Achilles tendon in his first season with the Falcons, limiting him to six games, but he recorded 30 tackles and one sack while making 14 starts in 2017.

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Shelby, who turns 29 on Sunday, has 10 sacks in six NFL seasons.

Toilolo has started 57 games for the Atlanta Falcons, including 12 starts in 2017.

He signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Falcons in March 2017. Releasing him will clear $2.5 million in cap space with $2 million in dead money left behind.

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The 6-foot-8 Toilolo was used primarily as a blocker in his five seasons in Atlanta after being a fourth-round draft pick out of Stanford. He has 74 catches for 723 yards and seven touchdowns in his career, and his best year came in 2013, when he had 31 receptions for 238 yards.

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Toilolo played in 15 games, including 12 starts, last season, when he had 12 receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown.

Austin Hooper is the team's top receiver at tight end. He caught 49 passes for 526 yards and three touchdowns in 2017.

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