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  1. #1
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    Around the League 5-23-05

    Newsbreakers Recap

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    May 22, 2005 5:00 PM ET
    Bears: Edinger gets the boot
    The News
    The battle for the kicking job in Chicago is over. The Bears released kicker Paul Edinger on Sunday, according to the team's official website, leaving Doug Brien as leading candidate to handle the team's kicking duties this season. Edinger performed well early in his five-year run with the team, but fell into a slump over the last two years. The five-year veteran has missed 18 of his last 43 kicks.
    Our View
    Brien had been considered the favorite to win the kicking job, at least in part to the $1.1 million salary that Edinger was scheduled to earn in 2005. However, the timing of Edinger's release is somewhat surprising, as team officials had indicated that they would keep him on the roster and allow him to compete for the starting job in training camp. Most observers believed the team's true motive was to prevent Edinger from signing with the division-rival Vikings, who are believed to be in the market for a veteran kicker.

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    May 22, 2005 1:37 PM ET
    Vikings: Bennett named starter
    The News
    The training camp battle promised by Vikings' head coach Mike Tice for the team's starting running back job will not take place. During an interview with KFAN radio (the Vikings' flagship station) on Friday, Tice indicated that Michael Bennett would start at tailback this season. Tice previously stated that an open competition would be held between Bennett, Onterrio Smith, and Mewelde Moore for the starting job.
    Our View
    Tice's announcement tells us that Bennett and Smith were the only rushers he really considered for the job. After all, his announcement came just one day after the news broke that Smith had been issued a season-long suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Bennett owners should keep in mind that Moe Williams is still expected to be the team's short-yardage and goal line back. In other words, Bennett is most valuable in yardage-heavy scoring formats, while Williams has more value in touchdown-heavy leagues.

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    May 22, 2005 1:13 PM ET
    Bears: Berrian might return kicks
    The News
    Bears' wide receiver Bernard Berrian and defensive back Nate Vasher are the leading contenders to take over the kick return duties this season. "He's the best catcher of the three (contenders) right now, that's why he's in front," special teams coach Dave Toub tells Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times. "I like (Nate) Vasher after the catch. He does some good things to make you miss. Bernard is going to hit the edge and outrun you where as Vasher is going to make you miss." Wide receiver Bobby Wade is the third contender for the job.
    Our View
    The job will officially be vacant once last year's return man R.W. McQuarters is released. Berrian might be leading the pack right now, but don't rule out Vasher, who broke Eric Metcalf's punt return records at the University of Texas.

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    May 22, 2005 12:28 PM ET
    Patriots: Bruschi still undecided about playing in 2005
    The News
    Patriots' linebacker Tedy Bruschi said Saturday that he intends to take his time before deciding whether to play in the upcoming season. "During the season we take it one game at a time, and right now in my life I'm taking it one day at a time," Bruschi told WBZ-TV in Boston on Saturday. "When it comes time for a decision to be made, we've been talking about it, my family and I, but that's a decision you don't rush into so I'm taking my time with it." The 31 year-old veteran is still recovering from the mild stroke he suffered in February.
    Our View
    Tedy has already been working out with teammates at team headquarters and is said to be feeling good. However, no one can blame him for taking his time with this decision, as life is obviously more important than football. Did we really just say that? When healthy, Bruschi is a top-20 linebacker in leagues that award fantasy points for individual players.

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    May 22, 2005 12:16 PM ET
    Cowboys: Romo signs two-year extension
    The News
    The Cowboys re-signed one of the two players battling for the right to be known as the team's quarterback of the future when Tony Romo agreed to a two-year contract extension on Saturday. The ESPN website reports that the deal is worth $1.88 million, which includes a $300,000 signing bonus. Romo has yet to attempt a pass in the NFL.
    Our View
    Romo will spend his summer attempting to knock the highly touted Drew Henson from the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind starter Drew Bledsoe. Given their lack of experience, neither Henson nor Romo will be considered a valuable fantasy handcuff to Bledsoe. However, Romo's new deal seems to indicate that the Cowboys consider him a legitimate future contender to the starting job.

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    May 22, 2005 2:26 AM ET
    Colts: James MIA from mandatory minicamp
    The News
    Running back Edgerrin James skipped the Colts' mandatory minicamp for reasons only he and Indy coach Tony Dungy know. Dungy said that James told him the reason he's opting for the $1,000-a-day fine instead of the workouts, but declined to provide that information to the public. "It's probably better coming from him," Dungy told the Indianapolis Star.
    Our View
    Let's see… isn't James represented by Drew Rosenhaus, who treats contracts like a dog treats a fire hydrant and who won't send his players to a measly minicamp unless they're being pulled in a gold-plated chariot while the owner throws $100 bills on the path in front of them? Yes, as a matter of fact, Rosenhaus does represent James. Interesting. And the $8 million franchise tender James signed earlier this offseason obviously means nothing. Now we have to wait and see if James will grace the Colts with his presence when training camp opens in July.

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    May 22, 2005 2:11 AM ET
    Dolphins: Ricky plans to play again
    The News
    Running back Ricky Williams, who walked out on his team prior to last season rather than comply with the NFL's drug policies, plans to play again. Williams and his agent have been in contact with Dolphins coach Nick Saban, and the Palm Beach Post quotes Williams' agent as saying Ricky will "absolutely" report to the Dolphins' training camp in July.
    Our View
    Of course, there are more than a few hurdles yet to be cleared. First off, Ricky owes the league a four-game suspension if he un-retires after the one year anniversary date of his previous retirement; otherwise, it's a one-year ban. Then there's Ricky himself, who has dropped about 30 pounds from his playing weight of 225 and spent the last year traveling the world and studying holistic healing rather than prepping for the rigors of an NFL season. And, of course, the Dolphins have more than a little invested in top pick Ronnie Brown, who also happens to play running back. Undoubtedly there will be someone in your fantasy league eager to pounce on Ricky—and that person would have the same success passing an NFL drug screening as Ricky did.

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    May 22, 2005 2:01 AM ET
    Patriots: Brown coming back
    The News
    Wide receiver Troy Brown, released earlier this offseason for salary cap reasons, will return to the Patriots for 2005. ESPN.com is reporting that Brown and the Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year contract for more than the league minimum, and Brown will sign the contract next week.
    Our View
    Brown, who filled in at cornerback in the Pats' injury-depleted secondary last season, will have to contend with David Terrell, Tim Dwight, and Jacke Schifino for looks behind Deion Branch and David Givins.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Around the League 5-23-05

    Let's see… isn't James represented by Drew Rosenhaus, who treats contracts like a dog treats a fire hydrant and who won't send his players to a measly minicamp unless they're being pulled in a gold-plated chariot while the owner throws $100 bills on the path in front of them?
    Pretty well sums up this monkey, doesn't it?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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