Not a Good Week to be a Falcons Running Back

By Jake Saltzman

It was a historically bad week for Atlanta Falcon running backs, complete with revelations of owed taxes and a roster cut of a player who at one time made more money than any other player at his position.

First broke the news that Jamal Anderson owed over a million dollars in taxes to the IRS. Shortly thereafter, fan favorite Ovie Mughelli was informed he had been cut by one of only two pro organizations he had ever known.

Thankfully for the Falcons, Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers weren’t among those making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

According to TMZ, Anderson currently owes over 1.1. million dollars in taxes to the IRS, dating back to the years 2007 and 2008. The news broke only a short time after Anderson jumped aboard the ever-growing train of former NFL players suing the NFL for reasons pertaining to concussion treatment.

A Pro Bowler in 1998, Anderson enjoyed his best NFL season that year, leading the NFC in rushing yards and guiding the Falcons to an upset win in the NFC Championship Game and birth in Super Bowl XXXIII. His post-NFL life has not been as remarkable however, highlighted by a cocaine related arrest in 2009 at an Atlanta club.

With this news of tax evasion and an anticipated property lien, Anderson sure looks like he’ll be following his lawsuit rather closely in the coming months.

For fullback Ovie Mughelli, things turned sour when the Falcons drafted Bradie Ewing in the fifth round of last month’s draft. Though Mughelli’s only 31 years old, he’s coming off a major injury and also plays a position dying out on NFL rosters across the league. Though Mughelli has a Pro Bowl appearance on his resume, as well as two All-Pro selections, the market for free agent fullbacks hasn’t exactly been kind to those who have tested it recently.

A fan favorite in Atlanta, Mughelli was revered for his charity work in and around the major metropolitan areas of the Southeastern United States. The Ovie Mughelli Foundation works to guide and oversee the development of children across the country, while Mughelli himself has been named a top five Eco-Athlete by the Planet Green TV network.

Mughelli spent 2007 to 2011 with the Falcons, scoring five touchdowns in that span. In his six year NFL career, he has played in over 110 games.


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