Terance Mathis will always be one of my all-time favorite Falcons, so it's nice to be able to honor him here today.
Mathis wound up spending a total of eight seasons in Atlanta, playing in every 16 games in all but one season. Over that span, he put up over 550 receptions, 7,000 yards, and a total of 57 touchdowns, most of which were franchise marks before our boy Roddy White came onto the scene. Oh, and he was a member of that legendary 1998 Falcons team, in case you forgot.
What made Mathis so good? In his prime, he was speedy and sure-handed, but he was also one of the NFL's better route runners, and a clubhouse leader. Like Andre Rison, his contributions are being overshadowed by Julio Jones and Roddy as we speak, but he was a phenomenal player who deserves to be recognized for his ability to serve as a key cog in a series of pretty good Falcons offenses.
The other two contenders are Michael Haynes, who served with Rison on those pass-happy early 90's teams and put up about 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns on roughly 250 receptions six productive years in Atlanta; and Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, a talented wide receiver who was an electrifying returner for a full six seasons in Atlanta. There's also Peerless Price, who...well.
This has been a fine number in the team's history, in other words, and we'll hope Tony Moeaki can have a fine season wearing it.