nativefalcon Posted March 4, 2008 Share Posted March 4, 2008 Dunn deserves better than FalconsBy Jeff Schultz | Monday, March 3, 2008, 07:56 PM The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionJeff Schultz He came here through the front door of a rebuilding project. He leaves here through the back door for the same reason.Welcome to the NFL circle of life. It makes no exception for the respected, the admired, or the sometimes brilliant. It makes no exception for Warrick Dunn. He was brought here believing he could help the Falcons win a Super Bowl, but six years later finds himself being escorted to the curb, still with two legs, 10 fingers and no rings. It s not easy to release a player like him, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Monday.In truth, it probably was pretty easy for Dimitroff. He had just signed Dunn s replacement the day before. But you understood the sentiment.Players like Dunn are considered missing ingredients for championships. They can play. They can lead. They can inspire. Heart isn t something that shows up at combines or scouting reports. That saying about the size of the fight in the man being more important than the size of the man in the fight - it was written for Warrick Dunn. He s amazing - one of the toughest players I ve ever seen, said Dan Reeves, the Falcons former coach who brought Dunn to Atlanta.Some things, Dunn can t control. His career timing has always been off. He left Tampa Bay in 2002, which turned out to be the season the Buccaneers won a Super Bowl. He missed the playoffs in four of his six seasons with the Falcons, who actually made the Super Bowl four years before he arrived.We can t know what happens from here, or if Dunn eventually retires beloved and title-less, like a modern day Ernie Banks. But if he was put on this earth only to rush for over 10,000 yards and help build homes for single mothers well, there are worse legacies to leave.The Falcons let Dunn go Monday. The current of the franchise says that was the right thing to. They have a new general manager, new coach and a new offense, which will play more to the power-running strengths of Michael Turner.But bottom line: the man deserves a better career exit than this. Sports are littered with great athletes who never won championships. The NFL has its share: Barry Sanders, Dan Marino, **** Butkus, et. al. But nobody of Dunn s stature deserved to be subjected to the goofiness that was the Falcons the last few seasons.He can still be what he wasn t here: a piece of a championship team. Maybe he rejoins his former coach, Tony Dungy, in Indianapolis. Maybe he goes to Dallas, which is looking to get over the top. Maybe he goes anybody closer to a title than the Falcons are right now. He deserves it.Dimitroff said the Falcons agreed to release Dunn immediately after his agent requested it Sunday night. Why? We thought it was the best thing for him, Dimitroff said.Dimitroff is new here but he can speak to Dunn s potential value to some teams. Remember where the general manager came from. Remember how New England started its dynasty. We all have believed that if Warrick can get in the right system he can still produce, Dimitroff said. We had a number of people up in New England who were aged veterans and were looking to be involved with a top tier team. This situation may provide Warrick with an opportunity to land on one of those teams. In 2002, Dunn thought he had signed with one of those teams. The Falcons were flushing the remnants of a Super Bowl roster: Chris Chandler, Terence Mathis, Jamal Anderson (not long after Dunn s signing). With Michael Vick, Dunn and a new aggressive owner in Arthur Blank, they looked to be the NFL s rising star. But fame had a cameo role.So he leaves again still admired, still capable, still ringless. It would be nice if he got there, but there are so many players who ve never won a championship, said Reeves. People in New York wondered about Michael Strahan and Armani Toomer, but they finally won it. I remember in Dallas when we picked up Jackie Smith, who had been with the Cardinals. We got to the Super Bowl and he cried like a baby. Here s hoping Warrick Dunn gets a chance to cry.http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-bl...deserves_b.html Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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