fun gus, I'm not trying to say that cutting Ovie is a dire move. But it's one of several moves that when added together are dire moves, and are strong indicators of this team's complacency. Ovie had significant value on offense. The player that will likely replace him as the 5th RB on the team (Frey, Nance, Smith, Cox, Meisner) won't and their significant value will come on special teams. And since Ovie was no slouch on special teams himself, I don't believe that is improving the team.
An analogy I've used before is when you're trying to fill a glass, you keep pouring water in yet the glass never fills up. That's because there are small cracks and wholes in the glass that leak.
The fact that Ovie hasn't signed isn't surprising to me. Nobody signs veterans after the draft. If you're a veteran FA and you don't have a deal done by the first week of April, then the odds are very low that you'll be able to get one done before July/August. After the draft and UDFAs are signed, the off-season is essentially over for NFL teams. They will only make a handful of transactions between May and August, and the vast majority of them are swapping UDFAs rather than signing veterans.
I agree, Ovie wasn't worth $3.7M or whatever the price tag was. So you have two options, reduce his salary or get rid of him, and do so at the beginning of March rather than waiting until May which is not fair to Ovie (for the above reason). Their decision to do NEITHER of these is what I'm criticizing. I've explained before that restructuring Ovie's deal would have been relatively easy, but they NEVER picked up the phone. And I've explained before that even if they wanted Ewing, then cutting Ovie would not have affected their ability to get him like so many people seem to think. As I said, if you had cut Ovie back in March, you could have spread misinformation that you were planning on moving Jason Snelling full-time to FB and that you really liked Mike Cox and that between the two of them you thought they could do what Ovie could do. And not you, I, or anybody else in the NFL would have batted an eye thinking that wasn't the case, thus allowing the Falcons to target Bradie Ewing and still get him.
It's the same with the Michael Jenkins cutting. Yes, I know I'm always bringing that up.
Jenks was going to make something like $5.5M in 2011. I get that is too expensive for a backup WR. So you either reduce the salary to a palatable figure, or you cut him right? But if you cut him as we did, don't leave that void on the team. You should go out and sign someone else with similar ability for the right price. And last summer there were a ton of guys like that available (because outside Sidney Rice & Santonio Holmes, no WRs got paid). But this team seemingly made the decision that the void could be filled by Weems, Douglas, Brandyn Harvey, and/or Kerry Meier. And they were WRONG! IMO, no competent GM would have made that decision. And if the decision was that we only need 3 good WRs as opposed to 4, then again that is also a dumb conclusion/decision.
The point I'm trying to illustrate is that this team is making cost-cutting decisions but at the same time weakening the team (i.e. drilling those small holes into the side of the glass of water), when they don't have to be.
And I'm trying to get someone to explain to me why it makes sense for this team to being paying Michael Turner $7.5 million? And so why is Michael Turner more deserving of any treatment different than Ovie Mughelli? Just like Ovie, Turner should have been cut or restructured at the beginning of the off-season.
And the fact that they have not done that is to me just one more notch on the belt of why this team is complacent and/or not run to the quality that people seem to think it is.
The Falcons are already a good football team. They are going to be a team that is going to consistently win 8-10 games pretty much every year and be in the hunt for the wildcard every year similar to how the Tennessee Titans were under Jeff Fisher, or the Eagles are under Andy Reid. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't going to be one or two big moves that is going to suddenly get this team to the next level that is consistently winning 11-13 games and competing for championships. It's not going to be just Julio Jones or Mario Williams alone that gets this team over the hump. It's going to be a bunch of little moves. And IMO, this team makes too many bad little decisions, and not enough good little ones. Getting Samuel was a good little move. Big name, but little move. Picking up Tatupu and Manuwai were also good ones. But not re-doing Turne'rs deal, cutting Ovie, letting Jenkins go without replacing him, giving Blalock too much money, letting Dahl walk, not bringing in veteran competition at LT, are bad little moves. Not shoring up depth at WR and TE = bad. Giving Nicholas too much money. Neglecting depth at DT and S. Not bringing in a proven return man, all bad.
And people sit there and think that the reason we haven't made that next step to being a better football team is because Matt Ryan can't throw a deep ball. And it's the above reasons just as much if not more than Matt Ryan's pathetic deep pass that is holding this team back.
This is the point of all this arguing about what is wrong with the team. It's 10 reasons why this team isn't getting better, not just 1 or 2. But people seem to be only focused on 1, and I'm trying to point out the other 8 or 9 reasons. You may not agree that they are as big issues as Matt Ryan, but you should at least recognize they are legit issues that do factor in.