Sunday, February 27, 2005

Moving On

Thirteen players, including six starters, can become unrestricted free agents on March 2. Historically, the team has made retaining its own players a priority over dipping into the veteran free-agent market. In this instance, it will lose more players than it re-signs. The most likely departures among the prominent players are LG Rick DeMulling, MLB Rob Morris, FS Idrees Bashir, CB Nick Harper and, perhaps, backup RB Dominic Rhodes. DeMulling has developed into one of the better components on one of the NFL's premier offensive lines, but he might be too expensive to re-sign. Complicating his situation is the fact starting RT Ryan Diem also can hit the open market; re-signing both might be too expensive. The team seems better suited to replace DeMulling than Diem. . . .

During the 2004 season, rookie Jake Scott started nine games and rookie Ryan Lilja six games at the two guard spots. Neither compares to DeMullling at this point, but each possesses good upside. Morris has started 60 games the past four seasons and has been reliable, no more. There is no clear replacement on the roster, so his departure probably will require bringing in someone, either through free agency or the draft. Bashir has missed 12 games because of injury and has been inconsistent over the past three seasons, and the team has young players -- Bob Sanders and Mike Doss -- ready to assume starting roles. Harper's departure would extract 30 starts from the roster and leave the cornerback position in the hands of youngsters Donald Strickland, Jason David, Von Hutchins and Joseph Jefferson. A veteran presence would be required. Rhodes is a solid backup who envisions himself a starter. If Edgerrin James returns, Rhodes likely will want to see if he can use the free-agent market to find a starting spot. James Mungro should return, but he isn't suited to being a backup. Without Rhodes, a viable No. 2 running back would be needed.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Kicking Problems

Guess who has the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history?

That’s right your Colts. Mike Vanderjagt has kicked for an average of 87 percent through out his career. That means he has kicked 223 field goals and has made194 of them, pretty well if you ask me. The real question is; will he be the Colts kicker in the 2005 season. If the Colts let him go, which is highly possible, it would count $2.87 million dollars against Indy’s salary cap.

The Colts are looking to make some cap room this off-season, and by cutting Vanderjagt the team can save up to $1.8 million dollars, but why cut the a player with so much to offer. Well for one, he is a trash talker and two, it is said he is a drunkard off the field. Plus he has been having problems with the long kick off. The coaches feel he isn’t stretching the ball far enough down the field.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Something to Prove

CB Donald Strickland has the ability to be a difference-maker. But his body has betrayed him during his first two seasons in the league. Strickland missed five games as a rookie in 2003 because of a groin injury and spent the final 13 weeks of the 2004 season on the injured reserve list after undergoing shoulder surgery. All signs point to him being fully recovered in time for training camp. The team needs a healthy Strickland in the secondary, and he needs the work. Strickland is aggressive and has excellent ball skills. He had two interceptions while playing safety as a rookie and was expected to make major contributions as a corner in 2004.