Don't Overevaluate

Anytime an athlete isn’t present for mandatory workouts it generates a quick swirl of buzz in a concerning way. Usually the main reason for a skip out in mini camp’s has to do with a disgruntled athlete concerned with the dollar sign on their contract. Either that or the athlete is a rookie scrapping away at trying to earn every dollar they can. In Indianapolis the atmosphere has already been circulating on the fact that this could be the last go around for the big three offensive stars. Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, and Marvin Harrison have made offense look easy in all phases of the game, but good things always have to come to a close.

Manning and Harrison look like a combo that will remain intact for the time being, but James has a big question mark hanging around his future. When the Colts 2004 season was over, there were huge rumors that the Colts were trying to trade James. When nothing resulted after talks, the Colts did what any team would do and that’s franchise a star player. James was angry, as he should have been, but knew he would have to abide to a one year contract.

So taking a look at James decision to skip mini camp serves as a balancing out. It’s like you did me wrong, so I’m going to do you wrong as well, as long as I can. Heck, the one year contract he received is worth it at eight million, but James is smart enough to know that he won’t be wanted or needed after next season. Still, he is a loyal teammate and will surely do his best to help Peyton Manning. Effectively running the football, to setup Manning’s lethal play action passing is a priority to be a Colts running back.

Neither Tony Dungy nor any Colts fans should be worried about James current absence. Mini camp is mainly for rookies to get trained and developed more, and for veterans to get back in the swing of things. James has been through enough mini-camps that it would be like re-teaching a kindergartner the alphabet. He should be in shape, and if he isn’t he knows that Dominic Rhodes or James Mungro is capable of stepping up.

James isn’t getting any younger, and this year the Colts may decrease his carries early on in the season to save him for the long strides in the playoffs. Someone has to catapult to the top over the Patriots, and the Colts have been the problem child for a few years but keep falling short. It takes the right frame of mind to keep taking knockdowns, and still come back a little stronger. The Patriots are just an ever growing monster that keeps feasting off each NFL game, and aren’t going anywhere.

Maybe the Colts organization should ante up the fines for skipping mandatory workouts, because $1,000 is definitely not up to par with the current athletic salaries of today. That might have been an acceptable fine for the 70’s or 80’s, but it’s absurd that players are gleaming with money, but the discipline has sloped in the opposite direction. Even the substance abuse policy should be stricter, as first time offenders only get a warning and a notification isn’t even made available to the media.

If I was in James shoes I’d kick back in Hawaii until late June. Throw an extra $30,000 dollars on my tab of fines, what type of percentage loss is that on an $8 million dollar contract. While, I’m in Hawaii, I’d send a special thank you to my agent Drew Rosenhaus for increasing my price value to remain a top ten back. Which is what I was worth three years ago and amazingly was still able to demand. Aw, the life of an NFL star running back.


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