Lately I've been hearing people around Atlanta remark "good riddance" and other negative comments over the departure of former Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who has recently signed a multi-million dollar deal with the Oakland Raiders.
But has it occurred to anyone that this should not be anything new under the sun within the Falcons organization?
The Atlanta Falcons have always been notorious for their bad decision making within football operations and questionable player acquisitions that would make any die-hard fan scream in agony after watching their team get beat up every Sunday.
Hall, a first-round draft choice (eighth overall) out of Virginia Tech, was a great investment for the Falcons. In his four years in Atlanta, he was very productive with 228 total tackles (200 solo) and 17 interceptions, returning one for a 48-yard touchdown.
Last season, Hall, a two-time Pro Bowler, displayed his worth by leading the secondary with 71 total tackles, 16 pass defenses and five picks.
Though I could certainly blame a number of people for Hall leaving, I simply won't do it because pro football is a business. However, people fail to realize that the situation with Hall and the Falcons runs much deeper than what any typical disgruntled employee would have with his or her employer.
Plain and simple, DeAngelo Hall is a winner. He thought he was part of an organization that was dedicated to winning, but what he experienced as a Falcon toward the end was complete and utter frustration with the entire organization.
The Falcons have never really developed any kind of identity or repetition that would perceive it to be an elite team in the NFL. Yes, there was plenty of potential with Michale Vick, but the Falcons do not possess that type of swagger or cockiness anymore.
On the other hand, the Raiders do. They have a place where Hall can be himself and enjoy playing football without all of the drama and uncertainty he faced in Atlanta. Yet Oakland has struggled the same way as the Falcons have over the years.
In 2007, both teams were 4-12 overall. But Oakland had one of the top 10 pass defenses in the NFL, averaging 195.8 yards per game. Meanwhile, Atlanta allowed more yards per game (228.4), good for 23rd in pass defense.
I'll admit that Hall's actions over the course of last season were childish and immature to say the least, but look what he had to deal with, beginning with Vick. Not to mention Bobby Petrino, who tried to pass himself off as a professional football coach, making it difficult for Hall to maintain his professionalism.
Why does Atlanta even bother? The Falcons obtain great players over the years only to see those talents finish somewhere else, whether behind bars or with another team. As a matter of fact, I have yet to see any player stick around for more than 10 years from beginning to end.
Hall took the 70 million dollars and ran, not even stopping to look back. Yes, he will probably be hated in Atlanta, but the good thing is that he should be adored in Oakland. He has now has the potential to join a long list of former Falcons players who have gone on to much greener pastures.
Regarding Atlanta, I'm thinking it will do better come next season. Heck, the Falcons might even make the playoffs.
But given their track record, I seriously doubt it.
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