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An Open Letter to Rich McKay

Dear Rich,

I've been hearing rumors that Arthur Blank is commanding you to do whatever it takes to get Calvin Johnson. But before you load up your tranquilizer guns and stuff giant sacks full of money and draft picks, please hear me out. I'm only asking you to do one thing for the benefit of Falcons' fans everywhere.

Don't trade a single thing for Calvin Johnson.

Yeah, I know what Blank wants. He'd love to take a local kid with flashy skills and pair him up with his $100 million quarterback. Yeah, CJ's probably going to be a great player. Maybe one of the best receivers of all time, when it's all said and done. But what good is that if the Falcons stink the whole time he's here? What good are all the tickets sold and the nice press releases when Vick overthrows him, he gets cranky about his contract, or he just leaves altogether? Is that worth it?

Let's face it, we've been down this road before. Michael Vick was all freaky athleticism and marketability. He was billed as the next greatest thing. We sacrificed draft picks we could've used to get him, and where has that gotten us? To where we are now: a 7-9 team with a shell of a receiving corps and defense. A team with multiple off-the-field problems. We're not a proud franchise, I know. But there are a lot of us out there who love this team, regardless of the fact that we've never had back to back winning seasons. I sat there long after the Broncos destroyed the Falcons in the Super Bowl, staring dully at the celebrations. There weren't any parades or glowing stories for us. We just weren't good enough, then.

And that's the problem. We can't always take that one player that makes money and has electrifying potential. When we could get three quality players at the unsexy positions we need, why would we blow that on one potentially great player? To improve Vick? Calvin Johnson alone can't do that, and even assuming Vick becomes a 65% passer...that's still probably not going to get us to a Super Bowl.

So you've got a chance to do the right thing, here. I know you have to go with what your boss tells you, but argue here. Argue for the sake of common sense. Argue for the quality draft you know you can pull off. Argue for the fans.

Because more than any amount of flash, we want to see wins. And nothing would be greater than to watch our team hoist that Lombardi Trophy, with or without Vick and Johnson and DeAngelo Hall, all the triumphs of amazing potential over winning production. Because what Arthur Blank doesn't seem to realize is something you surely do.

It takes a good team to win in this league.