ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Ovie Mughelli #34 of the Atlanta Falcons enters the field to face the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
A tip of my cap to Alex Welch for getting the news up so quickly earlier.
I think it's worth spending a little time thanking Ovie for what he contributed to this football team over the last several years. He came on in 2007, a dark, dank year for the franchise, and managed to hang around for five seasons as the highest paid fullback in the NFL.
In those five years, you never once heard Ovie complain. You never heard him crab about his role, his team or really anything. All he did was pave the way for one of the league's top ground games, catch a few touchdown passes and become as entertaining and beloved a player as the Falcons have had in the last decade. All that from a fullback.
Seeing him released is a little slap to the heart for those reasons, even though it's not just sound but wise as a football move. You don't pay $3 million for a 32-year-old fullback coming off a major injury, no matter how great he is. The Falcons drafted Bradie Ewing to play now, and can apply that $3 million toward other needs. It makes an enormous amount of sense, but it's always a bit jarring to hit the business side of football, particularly when you spend years investing in these people.
I'll definitely miss the guy, though, and I appreciate everything he's done for the franchise. I hope you do, too.
So good luck, Ovie, and take care out there.