The Atlanta Falcons have had Ovie Mughelli for five seasons now. Over that span, he's been a terrific fullback.
That run is probably coming to an end this off-season. The Falcons will need a little more cap space than they currently possess, Mughelli is coming off of an injury and his salary is extremely high for a fullback. With the team transitioning away from the power ground game that won them so many games from 2008-2011, a fullback simply won't be as integral to the offense as it once was. Thus, Mughelli being released.
Obviously I'll miss him as a team leader, a great player and a damn funny guy, but it's worth pondering what the offense will look like if the Falcons elect to release him.
First of all, the role of "fullback" will probably nominally be filled by Jason Snelling. Snelling's a good blocker and pass-catcher, so it makes sense to put him on the field at the same time as Michael Turner. If you want a straight-up blocker, you could also roll with one of the team's young tight ends, like Ryan Winterswyk. If the team chooses to carry Winterswyk or Tommy Gallarda as its resident blocking tight end, that frees up a roster spot for somewhere else, since there's no need to carry a dedicated fullback if you have a couple of players capable of doing the work.
Secondly, the team will continue its rapid transition to more of a passing team. Turner will get plenty of carries, but he'll be doing so in a different offense. If the line can hold up, he may also have an easier time of it.
Do you think Mughelli will get the axe, and if he so, how will the offense change?