Dear Mr. Foxworth,
We here in Baltimore fondly welcome you back to the place you call home. We know that it hasn't always been easy for you; through many trials and tribulations, you have made your way back to the great state of Maryland.
Since those days when you played at Western Tech in Catonsville, you have shown nothing but love for your home state. You even chose to play at the local university, Maryland, and again we thank you. You played well, becoming a star that would eventually lead you into the world of the NFL.
This is where the story should have ended. You got drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and there you should have used your considerable talent and skills to shine in a starting position.
I fondly remember your 40 time at the NFL Combine; who would have believed you would be able to run it in only 4.22 seconds?!
That's scary fast. The fastest wide receiver in this year's class only ran a 4.30 and even that is considered elite speed. With that kind of skill, you probably should have starred in Denver, much to our dismay.
Anyway, we both know how the story goes. It probably wasn't just you, but the entire Denver defense has struggled the past few years, even with Champ Bailey!
Either way, you finished your three-year career in Denver with 173 total tackles, 24 pass deflections and two forced fumbles. Not bad actually, but not as good as you could have done. And so you were traded away for a nearly worthless 7th round pick to the Atlanta Falcons.
Last year, with the newly revamped Falcons defense, you helped your team reach the playoffs after winning only four games in 2007, even though your team's passing defense was ranked 21st in the NFL.
You personally had 38 total tackles, and tacked on 11 pass deflections and an interception in only half a season! If only you had played all year, you were on track to reach career highs in every category.
Either way, you played well, and when free-agency week came around this year, you were ready to help some NFL team needing a veteran cornerback.
And so you struck it big AND found your way home at the same time. At only 25 years of age, with a four-year contract reportedly worth $27.2 million, you finally got exactly what we all hoped you would get.
Now don't get lazy on us. We know, to be sure, that sometimes a great player doesn't play so great once they get their long-term contract. Don't ever forget what struggles you went through to get here, and what you need to do now that you've got everything else a NFL cornerback could want.
Also, you've got some pretty big shoes to fill. Chris McAllister. McAllister, sometimes known lovingly to us Baltimore fans as, "C-Mac". C-Mac certainly loved us nearly as much as we loved him, even though sometimes he didn't show it openly. We drafted him and raised him as part of our defensive brotherhood.
When he wasn't busy being injured or bickering with the coaches/management over his off-field activities (drinking), he was a talented, elite, shutdown cornerback who helped make things easier on Ed Reed and his partner, Samari Rolle.
He didn't really ever get along with the new boss, Jon Harbaugh, and so he was suspended and finally put on Injured Reserve towards the end of last season. We didn't want to see things end this way, but near the end it seemed like it would be best for all involved parties to just part ways on mostly-amicable terms.
We wish him well.
So yeah, you've got some big shoes to fill here in Baltimore. And we've got a mission as well, and now that your a part of our team, so do you. That mission is to get to the 2010 Super Bowl. Not just to get there, we need to bring another Lombardi Trophy home.
Getting there will be tough in and of itself, as the road to the Super Bowl runs through Pittsburgh. Twice this year we lost in the closing seconds, and twice this year we couldn't finish the job.
That's where you come in. Some people say that we're only signing you here in Baltimore to act as depth for our true starting corners. Hogwash. We didn't pay you over $27 million, $16.5 million of that guaranteed, just to have you play nickel corner.
You are just entering your prime, and we truly believe that your elite speed and ability to play on an island will be just what we need to make our pass defense No. 1 in the NFL.
One day we will look back at this day, Feb. 27, 2009, and hopefully remember it as the first step on the way to winning the 2010 Super Bowl.
Sincerely, speaking for all of Maryland,
PS:Do you think you could have a little chat with your friend, Roddy White from your time in Atlanta? We could really use his help at WR, and we'd be willing to give him a nice, fat contract to boot.)
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!