Falcons reserves Ishmael, Gabriel headed for free agency


Falcons reserve linebacker Kemal Ishmael and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel will not be re-signed by the team and will enter free agency, which starts on March 14, general manager Thomas Dimitroff said on Wednesday.

“Ish will head to the market,” Dimitroff said. “I know that he likes it here a lot, but I know it’s important for him to see what might be out there in the market.”

Gabriel played with the Falcons the past two seasons.

Gabriel had a major dropoff  last season. In 2016, Gabriel had 11 plays of 19 yards or more and five long touchdowns (76, 64, 47, 35 and 25 yards.) He had only one touchdown last season, which went for 40 yards. He only had four plays for 19 yards or more and trouble getting off the line of scrimmage. 

“Taylor will hit the market,” Dimitroff said. 

Also, Dimitroff conceded that defensive tackle Dontari Poe will likely be lost in free agency to a “lucrative” deal.

The Falcons plan to retain left guard Andy Levitre, but will work to restructure his contract.

The Falcons also plan to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive end Vic Beasley, while looking into securing long-term deals with left tackle Jake Matthews and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.

“He’s another guy that in our discussion as far as putting all of these pieces together starting off with Matt,” Dimitroff said of Matthews. “Jake and it’s the same thing with Grady Jarrett. There are some guys on this football team that we know that we want to continue to work a deal with in the relatively new future.” 

The Falcons also started talks with kicker Matt Bryant. 

“We are confident that will get done quickly,” Dimitroff said. 


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