While Ovie was probably still worth the $3M he was owed this season, the team needed to clear some cap space to make room for newly acquired CB Asante Samuel. With Mughelli coming off season-ending knee surgery and rookie Bradie Ewing now on the roster, the Falcons did what they had to.
But what about his legacy as a Falcon?
The thing that strikes me the most about Mughelli is that he's part of a dying breed. It's not like twenty or even ten years ago when teams really ran the ball and utilized those big, punishing lead blockers. Ladainian Tomlinson and Lorenzo Neal. Shaun Alexander and Mack Strong. The Falcons had Michael Turner and Mughelli.
For a multitude of reasons, teams are running less I-formation football and passing more. Teams like the Patriots have pretty much phased the position out of their offense.
But back in 2007, the Falcons signed Mughelli to a six-year, $18M deal that made him the richest fullback in the league. And he certainly delivered. Up until his injury, Ovie was part of one of the best rushing attacks in the league. His 2008 campaign, paving the way for Turner and his almost 1700 yards on the ground, was phenomenal. He'd also make the Pro Bowl in 2010.
What's more, he was by all accounts a better guy off the field, getting involved in the local community by partnering with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to promote Ready Georgia, in addition to being a strong advocate of environmental conservation and activism.
In every sense, he was a model Falcon. We wish you the best Ovie, wherever you go.