Atlanta Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen is the best case scenario general managers, head coaches, and owners dream of right before the NFL draft each year. If you haven’t read “The Eight-Minute Lunch,” drop what you’re doing and go read it right now. Rico lost his job on a reality TV show four years ago. That was after scouts overlooked him during his prep career and after pro scouts decided he’d be too small to succeed as a professional. A few weeks ago he signed a 3 year, $19.5 million extension. To call him resilient is an enormous understatement.
We’re lucky to have Allen as the leader of the defense as Keanu Neal and Deion Jones look on from the sideline. He had a pretty good game yesterday, capped off by a Cam Newton interception that sealed a Falcons victory. Then he got to work this morning and saw a friendly letter taped to his locker.
We know these “random tests” aren’t so random. The talented Jeanna Thomas has actually covered this topic extensively. Give this article or this article a read, if you’d like a primer. Rico’s outstanding performance yesterday, including a demoralizing Newton interception late in the game, gave the league a reason, at least from their perspective, to test him.
Given that Rico has never failed a drug test, I have no doubt he will come up clean this time as well. It’s just interesting when the NFL decides to target certain players, particularly guys with high character and an impeccable reputation.