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Dunn leaving Atlanta

Falcons' long-time running back requests release

Posted: Sunday March 2, 2008 8:41PM; Updated: Sunday March 2, 2008 8:41PM
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Warrick Dunn has been the Falcons' leading rusher the last four seasons.
Warrick Dunn has been the Falcons' leading rusher the last four seasons.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Jim Trotter, SI.com

The Atlanta Falcons added one running back Sunday, but will lose another in the near future.

Veteran Warrick Dunn requested his release Sunday after the Falcons signed free-agent running back Michael Turner to a six-year, $34.5 million deal that reportedly includes $15 million in guarantees.

Dunn, an 11-year veteran who led the Falcons in rushing each of the past four seasons, believes he can still be an effective performer and wants an opportunity to contribute on a winning club. A league source said several teams would have interest in Dunn, notably Houston, Dallas and Denver.

Texans assistant Alex Gibbs was the offensive line coach (or consultant) in Atlanta during three of Dunn's six seasons with the Falcons. Dunn ran for at least 1,100 yards in each of those seasons, including 1,416 in 2005.

Gibbs was out of football last season, but in January he joined Houston as its assistant head coach/offense. He's expected to install the same zone-blocking scheme he utilized in Atlanta and Denver, where he spent 13 years as an offensive line coach or assistant head coach.

Dunn would like to play for a contender, which would make the Cowboys attractive. But Houston likely would be the front-runner for his services because of his success under Gibbs and the belief that the Texans are a team on the rise.

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