Last night, we reported that the Falcons will be honoring their former Pro Bowlers on Sunday by presenting them with personalized throwback jerseys during the home game against the 49era. Roughly 30 former Falcons are expected to be on hand to receive their jerseys.
As of last night, the plan was to send personalized jerseys to any former Falcons Pro Bowlers who play for different teams. But while the plan was to send a jersey to players like former Falcons quarterback Mike Vick and former Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler, former Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall wasn’t going to get one.
We then learned that a disagreement had emerged in the front office as to whether Hall, who has badmouthed the organization since leaving after the 2007 season and was involved in an altercation with coach Mike Smith during last year’s Redskins-Falcons game, should receive a jersey. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Hall would get the jersey, just like all other former Falcons Pro Bowlers who currently play for different teams.
The team has sent us a statement with their official position. As it turns out, none of the former Falcons players who currently play for other teams will be getting the jersey, at least not for now.
Here’s the full text:
“This weekend, the Atlanta Falcons will honor their former players with a number of special events and ceremonies that are part of the club’s Alumni Weekend.
“During halftime of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, the club will honor former Falcons players selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team during their time with the club. The Falcons will honor those all-star players during a live ceremony at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
“With respect to current NFL players who were selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team while they were members of the Falcons, the club has made plans to recognize and honor their achievement in the off-season at the appropriate time.
“The club is moving forward with those plans and there is no intent to single out any individual player from not being acknowledged.”
This approach strikes us as a baby-splitting compromise, possibly negotiated by owner Arthur Blank himself, aimed at ensuring that Hall doesn’t get a jersey — and also at ensuring that Hall isn’t singled out.