Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo never quite reached his potential. Notwithstanding a character-related red flag or two during his time at Notre Dame, the Falcons took a chance and drafted Shembo in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft.
The Shembo pick put a huge smile on my face, to be honest. First, the Falcons were exceptionally thin at linebacker prior to that draft. Second, as we know, the Falcons don't take character risks often. Sometimes calculated risk taking pays off. Here it obviously didn't.
Shembo recently wrapped up the case that stemmed from his arrest for animal cruelty. In case you weren't paying attention, Shembo was cut after allegedly killing his lady friend's dog. That case is now over, having resulted in a misdemeanor conviction and a fine. So will Shembo be back? Nope. Even without a pending criminal case, the Falcons aren't interested.
"I think that we are just happy right now where we are at with the linebackers," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Monday. "We're just trying to like heck to keep working those guys as we are going through it."
Kudos to Quinn for giving the canned response and not throwing this kid under the bus. Obviously this is the right move for the Falcons. Thomas Dimitroff and company worked hard in the off-season to bolster the linebacker depth. Shembo, at this point, is just extraneous. And to be frank, even if they needed a linebacker, Shembo wouldn't be their man.
I'm all about "innocent until proven guilty." Shembo settled his case for a reason; hedging his bets, the prosecutor obviously offered a misdemeanor resolution. The judge then approved it. But it does sound like there's a little more to the story. Regardless, he'd just be extraneous depth at this point, and given his play last season, there's no guarantee Shembo would even make the team.