ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots Tuesday night with confidence in their young receivers Calvin Ridley and Russel Gage.
Sanu was a productive player during his time with the Falcons, but Dan Quinn was ready to start the development process for the receivers.
"We've always had a mindset of developing players, and so this was one of those cases where we felt like it was worth it at this time to do that," Quinn said. "We push Cal, and he's ready to take on the bigger role, and Gage is another one that's in that space to do it."
The Falcons acquired a second-round draft pick from the Patriots and added Christian Blake to the added roster.
Sanu was the Falcons' possession receiver and was active in the slot position. Quinn said he will look for a collective effort to fill that void - adding that Julio Jones will also be used in the slot.
Atlanta (1-6) is likely to miss the playoffs, but Quinn insists that trading Sanu was not a sign of defeat.
"You always have to make decisions even when they're really hard, of what's best for the team," Quinn said. "And this would have been the case, either way the record had been."
Meanwhile, quarterback Matt Ryan, injured in Sunday's matchup against the Rams, will likely miss his first game this Sunday when the Falcons host the Seattle Seahawks. If he does, it would be the first game Ryan has missed since 2009.