When talking about the greatest of all time in the history of a franchise, statistics have to matter. While statistics do often lie, they are important for this conversation.
Deion had a big mouth, a flashy smile and was one of the best trash talkers the NFL has ever seen. However, when you are looking in the Atlanta Falcons record books, you have to look outside to the Top 10 to find Deion in most categories.
There are six statistical categories that apply to Deion. Games played, interceptions, tackling, forced fumbles, punt returns and kick returns. Passes defended was not an official stat until 1999, so there is no way to know where Deion would have been in this list.
If we are going to consider someone the greatest of all time in the history of a franchise, they MUST minimally be in the Top 5 in every category that applies to them.
Here is where Deion ranks all time in Atlanta Falcons history in those categories:
- Games played: 122nd
- Tackles: 26th
- Interceptions: 7th
- Forced Fumbles: 14th
- Punt Returns/Yards: 3rd
- Kick Returns: 5th
Overall, Deion had an effective career in Atlanta, but he was not here long enough to statically be the best of all time. This would be like the Chiefs declaring Patrick Mahomes the greatest QB in franchise history because he had a great season.