Harry Douglas always gets credit for his mishaps. Dropping an important pass, tripping over his own feet, fumbling the football; he's done it all. Whether he likes it or not, his weaknesses may always overshadow his strengths in the eyes of many if not most Falcons fans. But alas, going into 2014, Douglas is just happy to be part of the team.
"I’m the type of guy that is about whatever they ask me to do," Douglas said Friday night while attending the Atlanta Hawks-Golden State Warriors game. "And I’ve always been like that. If they need me to block, if they need me to return, if they need me to catch, I’m there to do whatever they ask me to do."
Justifiable criticism aside, Douglas has a good attitude. He may never be the player we'd like him to be; it's time we accept that. That said, his DVOA in 2013 was 3.6 percent (35th in the league). He was above average. He didn't make our pets' heads fall off.
Keep in mind, Douglas is under contract for two more seasons. With the emergence of Darius Johnson, the Falcons could choose to cut him. Such a move would result in $2.7 million in dead money. In case you forgot, he's getting a raise this off-season. His $2.65 million salary will jump to $3.65 million in 2014, then in 2015, it jumps again to $4.4 million. If he's just happy to be part of the team, let's hope a restructuring of his contract isn't out of the question. If it isn't, I'd argue that isn't the end of the world.
By comparison, the 2015 cash value of Douglas' contract ($3.5 million) is decidedly middle-of-the-road. He's got the potential to be a slightly above average receiver, and it's at least theoretically possible that he turns some kind of corner in the next two seasons. Going into 2014, Johnson will challenge him for snaps, and that may be the impetus he needs. Hopefully his targets will drop off a bit, as Julio Jones/Roddy White reestablish the Falcons' vertical passing game and the running back corps gets more work. In any case, he's still got something to prove to a significant faction of the Falcons' fan base.