2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons release fullback Mughelli

By CHARLES ODUM - AP Sports Writer
    2012-05-08 15:46

ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons cleared an opening for rookie fullback Bradie Ewing on Tuesday when they released veteran Ovie Mughelli in a move that also frees salary cap space.

The move was not a surprise after the Falcons traded for cornerback Asante Samuel before last month's draft and selected Ewing in the fifth round. The Falcons needed to cut payroll, and Mughelli was an obvious target.

Mughelli, 31, was due to earn a base salary of $3 million in 2012. His 2011 season ended when he hurt his right knee in Week 7 at Detroit and was placed on injured reserve. Mughelli's 32nd birthday is June 10, nine days before the team's first minicamp for veterans.

The Falcons gave Mughelli a six-year, $18 million contract in 2007. He made 38 starts in 69 games with Atlanta.

Mughelli said Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith left open the possibility that he might have a chance to re-sign with the team at a reduced salary.

``Thomas and the coach said that's a possibility in the future,'' Mughelli said. ``We spoke this morning. They said in the coming days they're going to talk to my agent.''

Mughelli said he was cleared by his doctors in time for one offseason workout with quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons on Monday.

``It was great to get back on the field if only for one day on Monday,'' Mughelli said. ``I got to catch passes from Matt. For the first time in almost six or seven months I could really run on it, stopping and cutting and all that. It felt good.''

He said he wasn't told if his release was strictly a financial move or if the team had any concern about his recovery.

``I tried to wedge it out of Thomas and coach to give me a specific reason,'' Mughelli said. ``They said myriad of reasons. I'm not here to decide what's wrong, what's right in the business. You don't get to be a 10-year vet without seeing a lot of business decisions like this.''

Mughelli, a powerful blocker who had few opportunities to run or catch the ball in his five seasons with Atlanta, made the Pro Bowl in 2010. He was a fourth-round pick by Baltimore in 2003 and played four seasons with the Ravens and five with Atlanta.

The Falcons' decision to release Mughelli will place more attention on Ewing (5-11, 243), who will participate in a rookie minicamp that begins Friday. Also returning is veteran fullback Mike Cox, who was signed after Mughelli's knee injury last season, and Jason Snelling, who can play running back and fullback.

Ewing called himself ``a very versatile player.''

``I think, obviously, I can do all the things the traditional fullback can do, as far as blocking from the backfield and all that stuff,'' Ewing said after he was selected by the Falcons. ``But I think I have phenomenal hands. I can catch out of the backfield, I can be split out and I can play special teams.''

The trade for Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowl pick, left the Falcons with a more urgent need to reduce payroll. The Falcons only gave up a seventh-round draft choice to the Eagles for Samuel, but the team's payroll rose even after he agreed to restructure his contract to a three-year, $18.5 million deal. His contract with Philadelphia called for him to earn $9.9 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013.

The fullback position may carry less emphasis under new Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The Falcons have pushed a run-first philosophy under Smith, but fifth-year quarterback Matt Ryan's passing numbers have risen with his experience. Ryan set career highs with 4,177 yards passing and 29 touchdowns last season.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group