According to Zach Klein of WSB, a reasonably well plugged in reporter, the Atlanta Falcons have cut long term fullback Ovie Mughelli. Many expected Atlanta to pull in a fullback this offseason to replace Ovie, who tore an MCL last year and has about a $3 million salary this season along with an unmanageable $3.7 million cap hit.
The Falcons picked up Bradie Ewing, a Wisconsin Badgers fullback, in the 5th round of the draft. Atlanta will free up cap space and a roster spot with the move.
Those poor Saints were never paid enough to tackle Ovie.
We will miss Ovie. He is, by all reports, a great team mate, and helped block Michael Turner to his record 1,699 yard season in 2008. Ovie came to Atlanta in one of the few good decisions made by the Bobby Petrino regime, signing a 6-year, $18 million contract, a record sized contract for a fullback at the time.
He has been great while he was in Atlanta, being a mean player who can blow up defenders. Atlanta missed him last year when we had so few options on short yardage situations, and lets not forget Ovie being a great guy to catch a touchdown in the redzone.
Considering the injury and the salary, cutting Ovie was the right move, but my hat is off to Ovie for everything he has done for Atlanta the last five years.
Update: The Falcons confirmed the release.
Falcons Media Guru Jay Adams points out that the Falcons signed fullback Mike Cox to a two-year deal last season, suggesting the Falcons had plans to make this move last season.
I think this was something that we all kind of knew might happen after the Falcons spend a fifth round pick on a fullback. By all reports, Ovie was a great teammate and good all around guy so in that aspect he will be missed. But this is a business and the Falcons are up against the salary cap and he and Sam Baker are the most likely suspects that could provide some relief for us. I wonder now, if we somehow use some of this cash to add somebody or if it's simply just clearing space to sign the draft picks.