"If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be."
I'm sure most of you are suffering from a self "inDeuced" hangover after running out of your office yesterday screaming and crying like a little girl when you heard the news then self-medicating your pain with massive quantities of alcohol (minus the 40 oz. you poured onto the ground in honor of D-Mac). Naturally, today you're just a little confused and things are very fuzzy. Well let me be the first person to slap some sense into you. And in case your attempts to erase the painful memories of yesterday were actually successful last night let me also be the first to remind you that Deuce is really gone. That was not a dream, or nightmare rather. Though it's over for the Saints however, it's only just beginning for Deuce.
Whether or not the Saints even went through the formalities of offering McAllister a restructured deal is unknown, though it sounds like they didn't even bother. What we do know is that Deuce now has a chance to catch on with another team and earn more money than the Saints are currently willing to pay. There might be a few teams like Houston, Cincinnati, Seattle or even, gasp, Tampa Bay (all pure speculation) that may show interest in the veteran but his health is going to be a big concern.
Since retirement is probably Deuce's least desired scenario, that leaves only one other option for him: returning to the black and gold. This, of course, is what all of the cockeyed optimists out there in Who Dat Nation want to see most. But as much as it pains me to say it, I don't see that happening. Deuce is now going to test the waters and try to find himself a team, any team, that is willing to give him a chance. Only if he fails at all levels will a return be considered. But if all 31 other NFL teams pass on the chance to grab Deuce, doesn't that say something? Would we really want him? In my opinion, the Saints organization has moved on and though they acknowledge the possibility of a return for McAllister, it seems highly unlikely. Listen to some of the things Mickey Loomis said yesterday...
"I don't think it came down to strictly being a money issue."
"He's facing some tough odds."
"But I wouldn't call it likely. But we've left that door ajar to see what happens as we get further into this year and his rehab and where he's at and where our team is."
What Mickey really seems to be saying is, "Deuce is done. We don't think he will ever be the same. I've got to say positive things here so the fans of New Orleans aren't too crushed but we'd have to be pretty desperate to ever take another look at Deuce." That's what I hear anyway. These scenarios play out year in and year out in the NFL. Remember Shaun Alexander? Compare the current feelings of Saints fans with the comments left here by Seahawks fans when Alexander was released last year. Eerily similar isn't it? But Alexander didn't return to the Seahawks...did he? This is the NFL's Circle of Life. Sometimes it sucks.
The Saints have moved on and like the organization itself, we the fans should also come to terms and find acceptance in the fact that Deuce probably won't return. Not in a playing capacity that is. The NFL is a business like any other, driven by money and success and devoid of emotion based actions. Any fan hoping for a return by Deuce may not be treating it as such. This decision was made with the organizations best interest in mind, not the fans. Our problem, as lovers of all things Deuce, is that our hope for his return is based purely on emotion.
But keep in mind the big picture. As Saints fans what do we really crave more than anything? A Super Bowl championship. Or two. More than a few steady years of sucess at least. Please? Even with Deuce the Saints have still yet to achieve any of it. We all want to see the team move forward and take that next step but at this point, sadly, Deuce is not a part of that vision. He now joins the long list of great football players who've played for the Saints and thusly, never won a championship. (You're next, Drew!) Deuce couldn't bring us one but he will forever be remembered as the classiest mofo to ever wear the black and gold. And in typical Deuce fashion, he made one final sacrifice for the Saints by bringing the team under the league mandated salaray cap thus allowing them room to afford much needed defensive help.
I wish the best for Deuce McAllister. I hope he does catch on with another team and get himself a championship. He's only the most deserving player in the NFL. I love Deuce and so I'm letting him go. Do I think he'll come back as a player? I'm very cautiously optimistic.