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Edge officially reports to camp...

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Edge officially reports to camp...

Postby bigGAME101 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:21 am


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- Another training camp, more suspense from Edgerrin James.

Months of speculation about whether the two-time NFL rushing champ would report to camp on time Wednesday ended shortly after the Indianapolis Colts held their first meeting and officials announced he had arrived.

But James took the mysterious route.

Instead of driving into the players' parking lot at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, James sneaked into camp undetected for the second straight year. There were no actual sightings by the larger than usual media contingent.

"Please no Edgerrin James questions," wide receiver Reggie Wayne, one of James' friends, pleaded when he got out of his car a little more than an hour before the first team meeting.

The questions were just beginning.

James, a three-time Pro Bowler, became a free agent in February. The Colts then placed the franchise tag on him and in March, James signed a one-year deal worth slightly more than $8 million. From that point on, agent Drew Rosenhaus said James wanted a long-term deal and even had permission to seek a trade.

When those efforts failed, some wondered whether James might hold out.

Sports Illustrated reported this week that James had said he would report to camp on time but would not travel to Tokyo for next week's preseason opener against Atlanta. James reportedly said that the closest he would get to Japan was Benihana, a Japanese restaurant chain.

It became a prime topic among James' teammates and Colts officials as they waited for James to arrive Wednesday.

"I think he would have to have a darn good excuse," team president Bill Polian said. "I'm not sure it's just us, either. That's is the league's game, so it's the league's call."

James, a three-time Pro Bowler, detests preseason games and has played sparingly in August throughout much his career.

Coach Tony Dungy said if James didn't travel with the team there could be consequences.

"I don't know that you can make anyone go anywhere," Dungy said. "You can't make them come to training camp. ... But we had a lot of hypotheticals about whether he would be here today or not. I'd say there would be a lot of consequences for everyone, including me if I didn't show up for a game that I was supposed to."

Teammates thought it was just James being himself.

"That was a great quote. You know everybody has to play preseason games, too, and he gets out of that," kicker Mike Vanderjagt joked. "But I don't care if he goes to Japan or goes to Denver or goes to Cincinnati as long as he goes to Baltimore. That's all I care about."

The Colts open the regular season Sept. 10 at Baltimore.

James' situation drew the most attention Wednesday once the Colts got their 10 draft picks under contract.

Second-round pick Kelvin Hayden was Indianapolis' last draft pick to sign. He agreed to a four-year deal on the same day fifth-round pick Rob Hunt signed a three-year deal. Another fifth-rounder, Tyjuan Hagler, and seventh-rounder Anthony Davis both accepted three-year deals late Tuesday.

It marked the first time since 2002 that the Colts did not have a rookie holdout. Practice begins Thursday morning.

"It's good to have them all signed on time because we're a team that really counts on our young guys," Dungy said. "Being here on time helps them and it helps us."

When James was a rookie in 1999, he held out of camp for 21 days.

In 2002, after his driver's license was suspended because of speeding tickets, he came to Terre Haute -- about 80 miles east of Indianapolis -- by taxi. The next year James and Wayne arrived on a bus filled with children.

Instead of a grand entrance last year -- the final year of his contract at the time -- James avoided publicity and reported without talking to reporters.

His encore Wednesday raised suspense but hardly any eyebrows.

"I know Edgerrin wants to have a good year for this team and for himself as well," two-time MVP Peyton Manning said. "He was the best running back in the NFL last year and knowing the kind of athlete he is, I'm expecting the same thing this year."

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Postby RayVins » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:03 am

good news considering i just drafted him in a league...
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