An interesting read on the RB situation in Indy... sounds like RBBC if they can draft a decent rookie RB...
Rhodes will get his chance in Colts offense
By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer March 14, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- All Dominic Rhodes wanted was a chance to start in the NFL. It looks like he'll get the opportunity this fall.
The Indianapolis Colts paid a $1.45 million bonus to keep Rhodes under contract next season, his agent, Mike McCartney, said Tuesday. The move, combined with the loss of free agent Edgerrin James to Arizona over the weekend, means Rhodes will presumably compete for the starting job during this summer's training camp.
"Everything we've heard from them has been great," McCartney said. "Dominic's got his chance, and he's thrilled and chomping at the bit to get into the offseason program right now."
Rhodes, at 5-foot-9 and 203 pounds, is short by NFL standards and at age 27 is only five months younger than James. But Rhodes has taken far fewer hits.
While James had a franchise-record 2,188 carries in seven seasons with the Colts, Rhodes has carried only 363 times in five seasons -- only 130 times since 2002. In 2001, Rhodes replaced an injured James for the final 10 games and set an NFL record for undrafted rookies by rushing for 1,104 yards. He also scored nine touchdowns and caught 34 passes for 224 yards.
But since James returned from knee surgery in 2002, Rhodes has been relegated primarily to spot duty and returning kicks.
Last season, he ran 40 times for 118 yards and four TDs, bringing his career totals to 1,633 yards and 14 TDs.
The big risk is injuries. Rhodes has had surgery on a problematic left shoulder that has been dislocated several times since he joined the Colts. He also missed the 2002 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during training camp.
But for now, he's one of the few options the Colts have as a replacement to James.
James Mungro, the Colts' short-yardage back, also is an unrestricted free agent, and the only other running back on the roster is Kory Chapman. The Colts signed Chapman, a free agent, in September and he has never had an NFL carry.
With team president Bill Polian already saying the Colts are likely to sit out the first few weeks of free agency, it's more likely the Colts will use an early-round draft pick on a running back who will compete with Rhodes for the starting job.
"I don't think they're bringing anyone in free agency unless someone falls through the cracks," McCartney said. "My impression is that they'll draft someone."
McCartney said the bonus was paid out Saturday -- one day before James signed a four-year, $30 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, perhaps indicating the Colts were already preparing for life without their all-time leading rusher.
With a base salary of about $550,000 next year, Rhodes will count $2 million against the $102 million salary cap.
The Colts also made another move Tuesday to bolster their roster by re-signing free agent kicker Jose Cortez to a one-year deal worth about the league minimum, which is $585,000 for a player with six years of experience.
That move could help alleviate the hole expected to be left when Mike Vanderjagt, the franchise's scoring leader and NFL's most accurate kicker, signs with another team.
Vanderjagt, an unrestricted free agent, is reportedly being courted by the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers among others. Polian has already said he does not expect to re-sign Vanderjagt.
Cortez came to the Colts late last season as a kickoff specialist but is expected to compete with Dave Rayner for the placekicking job. Rayner was a sixth-round pick out of Michigan State last season, but was waived to make room for Cortez.
"I'm under the understanding that he'll be given the opportunity to win the job," said Cortez's agent, Bruce Tollner. "And they've kept a kickoff guy in the past and he's done that job before, too. But we're hoping he gets an opportunity to win both jobs."
Updated on Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 9:18 pm EST
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I think some projections on where he would be drafted were way too high by some people - end of 2nd round????? They will def be targeting a RB in the draft and will probably get more carries than Rhodes as the season progresses.
It's been my hope that the Colts would keep Rhodes and draft a player, giving them a competitive 1-2 punch. Looks like I'm getting my wish. Hopefully, someone like Addai can step in and make a difference, all the while pushing Rhodes to work harder to become a solid contributor himself.
Yea I think Rhodes can be a good back for them as long as they get some sort of change of pace back. I'm guessing Addai will probably be around then still and that would make a great backfield for the Colts at a far cheaper price than Edge.
I don't see the Colts taking Addai... There will be too much defensive talent on the board when they pick in the 1st to pass up... Some possibilities include: Demeco Ryans, Ernie Simms, Manny Lawson, Mathias Kiwanuka, Gabe Watson, Bobby Carpenter, Thomas Howard, Antonio Cromartie, etc... etc...
They will also likely have a shot at Max-Jean Gilles if they want to improve at Guard, which wouldn't be a bad idea....
All of those players have more value than Addai to the Colts, and Addai will likely be gone by the time they pick in the 2nd....
Now, after Addai, the next 8-10 guys on most people's rankings are very similar in build and style to Dominic Rhodes... Why draft a guy that is a clone of the guy you already have?
I am thinking the Colts will wait until the mid-rounds and snag a power back... So Dungy can go with something like the thunder and lightning he used in Tampa with Dunn and Alstott....
Guys I would watch for are:
Gerald Riggs, Jr.
And all of those guys can likely be had in day two...
Don't be surprised if the Colts shy away from RB's in the first three rounds, and concentrate on defense and maybe pick up an offensive guard...
And if they wait that long to go RB, they will be picking a situational guy, at best... Which means good things for Rhodes...
From a fantasy perspective, I think Rhodes is a solid early-to-mid 2nd round pick, and a keeper in most 3-man keeper leagues...