Dave Gettleman stood at the door with a black and blue corsage in hand. He rang the bell and waited. Excited for the night, the door opened and his date, Alan Ball, answered the door in pair of sweats. It was clear, there would be no Ball.
Yesterday reports emerged that Alan Ball, formerly with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was going to sign with the Carolina.
Today, Ball left Charlotte without inking a deal. Wooed by the allure of other suitors, Ball believes he can get a better date elsewhere.
Ball seemed to be an exciting prospect initially. He graded high before a bicep injury in Jacksonville, +4 and among the top 10 defensive backs in press coverage according to ProFootballFocus.com. Many believed, the 29 year-old corner would immediately make Carolina’s defense more versatile, allowing for more man looks in a typically zone schemed defense.
Carolina’s one-year offer, however, must not have been sweet enough. Ball looks to be playing hard ball because he certainly took his ball and left the deal on the table. It’s understandable for a corner at his age with what looks to be some high octane fuel left in the tank. There won’t be many deals after this one, so Ball has to hope to make what he can when he can. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help his case that his most successful years were in the black hole that is Jacksonville. Gettleman is great at finding these older players looking for a last hurrah. He won’t, however, overpay for their services. He knows that there isn’t a long term future, nor long term money available for an aging vet coming off an injury like Ball.
Gettleman’s date may have closed the door, but that doesn’t mean he won’t take his call later. The relationship isn’t over, but this isn’t puppy love. It’s a game of hard-Ball that that may just end in Panthers fans forgetting about Ball as quickly as they learned of him.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
Follow him on Twitter @Cat_Chronicles