Goodwin retires
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Posted Jul 14, 2004

Strange as the timing was, Falcons officials were not completely shocked July 6 when veteran tight end Hunter Goodwin announced his retirement.

Although he signed a one-year deal with the team early in the offseason, he never really hid the fact that he had a series of nagging injuries that were bothering him.

Coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp were hoping that Goodwin could help out on 12-18 plays per game, ostensibly as a blocker. Never much of a threat as a receiver, Goodwin was to help spring Pro Bowl TE Alge Crumpler from the line of scrimmage and out into space, where he can do more damage.

When Goodwin decided to hang it up after seven seasons with the Vikings, Dolphins and Vikings again, the Falcons were not caught completely unprepared.

Although they waived four-year veteran Sean Brewer a week earlier, they also signed former 49ers TE Justin Swift (who's familiar with Knapp's offense), and claimed Spencer Nead off waivers from the Rams on June 30.

They've also been pleased with rookie free agent Jason Rader of Marshall.

Whether any of them can do the dirty work that was expected of Goodwin remains to be seen, although it seems unlikely.

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