FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons have released Casey Hayward, the organization announced on Friday. The veteran cornerback joined Atlanta on a two-year deal in 2022. The deal was valued at $11 million.
Hayward played in six games opposite A.J. Terrell. Through those six appearances, Hayward had one interception and two PBUs. According to PFF, Hayward was targeted 28 times, allowing 16 catches.
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In Week 6 of the 2022 season, Hayward suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. It was an injury that kept him off the field for the remainder of the season.
This year would have been the second year - and final year - on Hayward's deal. However, the Falcons have brought in more players in the secondary since the start of the 2023 league year in March, signing S Jessie Bates III and CB Mike Hughes. Most notably for Hayward, though, was the trade for CB Jeff Okudah.
The Falcons sent a 2023 fifth-round pick to Detroit for Okudah, who is on the final year of his rookie deal if the Falcons do not choose to pick up his fifth-year option, which seems highly unlikely given Okudah hasn't played a snap for the Falcons yet. Terrell is also in the same boat on the final year of his four-year rookie contract, but it seems much more likely that the Falcons pick up his fifth-year option and try to work out a long-term deal for Terrell later, much like they did for right guard Chris Lindstrom this offseason.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Falcons save $5 million towards the cap by cutting Hayward.
The 2022 season was Hayward's 11th in the league after being drafted by Green Bay in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Hayward is a Georgia native, having grown up in Perry, Ga.
Atlanta Falcons players are back at Flowery Branch to kick off prep for the 2023 season.