Shortly after 254-pound linebacker Prince Shembo admitted to killing a 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier named Dior, the Falcons cut him.
But now that he’s pleaded out of a felony animal cruelty charge and into a misdemeanor and paid a fine, the Falcons could be considering bringing him back.
“I’m sure that we will, but [General Manager] Thomas [Dimitroff] and I have not gotten together on that, at this point,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of discussing Shembo, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But I don’t have a comment one way or another on that.”
If you can set aside the blunt force trauma death of his ex-girlfriend’s dog (who, in Shembo’s defense, did bite him with her fearsome 5-pound-dog jaws), the Falcons could make a reasonable case for bringing Shembo back.
They drafted him in the fourth round from Notre Dame (where he was investigated for but not charged with sexual assault of a woman who later committed suicide), and he played in all 16 games with three starts last year.
They could also use the depth at linebacker, since they had the league’s worst defense last year and free agent pickup Brooks Reed has barely practiced because of a groin injury. The Falcons also have two open roster spots at the moment.
So if you can set aside the fact he kicked a tiny dog causing what the autopsy listed as “a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising and hemorrhage in the muscles in her front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea, and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries,” then it might make sense for the Falcons.
Of course, he’s also going to be subject to the league’s personal conduct policy if he does sign with a team, which might give them pause. Assuming, of course, the fact that he killed a dog doesn’t do that first.