Falcons interested in O’Neal
Adam Schefter of NFL.com reports that the Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals have begun trade discussions for cornerback Deltha O’Neal.
O’Neal had a down year in 2006, partly limited by injury. He finished with 37 tackles and 1 interception, a significant decrease from his ’05 season in which he had 65 tackles and tied for the league lead with 10 interceptions.
This would mark the second time that O’Neal would be traded in his career. He was traded to the Bengals in 2004 from the Denver Broncos after four disappointing years there. Over his career, O’Neal has appeared in 100 games, recorded 309 tackles and 31 interceptions. He has also returned 2 punts and 1 kickoff for touchdowns.
The 30-year old cornerback is noted for his ballhawking skills and speed, two traits he would share in common with potential new teammate DeAngelo Hall.
The Falcons showed interest in Detroit Lions cornerback Dre’ Bly earlier in the off-season, but Bly was eventually traded to the Denver Broncos. Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino recently indicated that second-year player Jimmy Williams is slated as the starter opposite Hall as of today, but it’s clear from the team’s reported interest in O’Neal that they are not averse to more help.