Sources told ESPN and Pro Football Talk on Friday that the Falcons informed Poole he won't return to the team under the price of his RFA tender. Sources told ESPN that the team would like to bring Poole back at a cheaper price.
The low-level tender is projected to be over $2 million. Poole made $630,000 last season. He will become a free agent when the new league year begins March 13.
Poole signed with the Falcons after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. During his three seasons with the franchise, he recorded 195 tackles, 19 passes defensed, five sacks and four interceptions. He has started 21 of 47 games, including nine last season, for Atlanta.
The Florida product had 71 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks and two fumble recoveries last year.
The Falcons have made numerous moves in the offseason, releasing cornerback Robert Alford, kicker Matt Bryant and defensive end Brooks Reed. The team also reached one-year contract extensions with linebacker Bruce Carter and defensive end Steven Means.
If Atlanta can't bring back Poole on a new deal, safety Damontae Kazee likely would move to the nickel spot. Kazee tied for the league lead with seven interceptions last season.
The Falcons expect safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal, who suffered season-ending injuries in 2018, to return before the 2019 season. Allen underwent surgery after tearing his Achilles, and Neal sustained a torn ACL.