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Volume 6, Issue 136 (Thursday, September 1st)

Tonight's update brought to you by:
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Hi Folks,

Again, our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to our many friends along the Gulf Coast suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It puts what we do with Fantasy Football into perspective. The Red Cross can definitely use your help. More info is here or 1-800-HELP-NOW if you would like to help. I've had several folks tell me today that their local leagues were donating either part or all of their prize money to the Red Cross. That's a great idea.

On to Football. Things are moving fast here. Last week, Chad Hutchison was the Bears starting QB. Today, he's in the unemployment line... You have to keep up. I know that many leagues are drafting this week and we'll continue to ramp up our coverage to bring you everything you need to Dominate Your League. From Training Camp Updates, Drafting Software, to Fantasy Articles to the latest in Cheatsheets and up to the minute Stat Projections. We'll keep you covered. Also remember that our the deadline to sign up for our $20,000 contest is September 1. Thanks to our Footballguy Maurile Tremblay for the help rounding up these stories tonight. Let's get to it.

Joe Bryant


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1. KC - QB Green Has Surgery. Will Miss Final Pre-Season Game
2. MIN - #2 WR Spot Still Up For Grabs
3. NO - Saints On the Road For The Season?
4. OAK - WR Porter's Hamstring Healing Slowly
5. HOU WR Gaffney To Play
6. TEN - PK Bironas May Not Have The Job
7. DAL - PK Cortez Could Have Competition
8. NYJ - Struggling With The New Offense
9. PHI - Eagles to Rest Starters for Pre-Season Finale
10. DAL - QB Henson Still Not Ready. PHI - WR McCants Signed
11. DET - QB Harrington May Miss The Final Pre-Season Game
12. IDP - IND DT Corey Simon Signs With Colts
13. IDP - IND LB Kendyll Pope Suspended for One Year

1. KC - QB Green Has Surgery. Will Miss Final Pre-Season Game

Clipped from: AP article 8/31/05

Quarterback Trent Green underwent an outpatient procedure to improve circulation in his leg but will be ready for the season opener on Sept. 11, Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil said Wednesday.

Green, who's been having numbness in the lower left leg and foot, will not play Friday night when the Chiefs meet St. Louis in their final preseason game.

Vermeil said Green, who played only two series last weekend against Seattle, did not have a blood clot.

"He had a little problem. It was a minor problem and it's taken care of."

Vermeil said it was not major surgery and that Green would be at the stadium on Thursday for team meetings and return to practice on Monday.

"There's a procedure that they go through to do those things, but it's not like having a heart transplant," Vermeil said. "You'll talk to Trent tomorrow and he'll tell you what they did. He watched them do it."

Green has never missed a start since the Chiefs gave St. Louis their first-round draft pick for him in 2001, and for the past three years has led one of the NFL's top-scoring offenses. His endurance has been something of a surprise in light of his four knee operations after an injury in the 1999 preseason.

He had undergone a battery of tests for several days to find the cause of the numbness.

"I can't tell you the exact time that they found it, but as soon as they found it they quit looking for something else and went to work," Vermeil said. "It was a circulation problem and I think it stemmed around four knee operations and things passing through scar tissue and they had to clean it up. But it was just like going to the dentist."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Scary at first but this looks to be ok news for Chief fans and Fantasy Football Players as well. The surgery doesn't appear to be anything major, and Green should be ready to go for week one. Green has been a top ten fantasy QB for the last three seasons, and is projected to be there again this season as well. Use this info to sweat the Green owner in your league, but outside of that it doesn't look to be an issue. Footballguys "Team Physician", Dr. Michael J. Wolf, M.D. gave me this informal information today. Dr. Wolf is NOT Trent Green's doctor, he's an M.D. that is familiar with this type of surgery and he happens to be a Fantasy Football Fanatic like you guys. Here's what Dr. Wolf told me:

"He in all likelihood had what is called an angioplasty procedure, which is when a small catheter (long tube) is put into the artery and snaked down into a narrowing of the artery, in Trent's case likely because of scar tissue from previous surgeries. Then, a balloon that's embedded around the outside of the catheter is blown up, opening the artery and breaking up the scar tissue around it, allowing the blood to flow through it like it's supposed to. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter removed.

Alternatively (and anytime I hear of someone having "sudden" symptoms like this), he may have had what's called an embolus, which essentially is a blood clot that broke off from somewhere, traveling down the artery in his leg until it reached a point in the artery where the artery was too small for it to go any further, and thus it became stuck. When this happens, the same type of procedure is performed, but with a different type of that has a hole at the end instead of the balloon. A clot-busting liquid is squirted through the catheter directly into the clot, busting it up, and the catheter is then removed.

Both procedures are very common and safe: I do these all the time. Patients enter and leave the hospital the same day, and after only one day of rest, are back to normal. My only concern would be that if this was due to an embolus (clot traveling down his leg), they can break up the clot, but they'd have to figure out where it CAME from...why was it there to begin with, and are there any more waiting to break off and do the same thing?

Bottom line is that if his procedure was an angioplasty (the first type I mentioned), then it won't affect his fantasy value at all.

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MIN - #2 WR Spot Still Up For Grabs

Clipped article dated 8/31/05 by Don Seeholzer

The Vikings head into Friday night's exhibition finale at Seattle with just one starting position still available.

But Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson aren't stressing about who will open the regular season at wide receiver opposite Nate Burleson.

Unlike the kicking competition between Aaron Elling and Paul Edinger, which ended for all practical purposes Tuesday when Elling was ruled out against the Seahawks because of a strained right hip flexor, this won't be a case in which the loser leaves town.

"The kicking job is a lot more nerve-racking than what we're going through," Taylor said. "Everybody knows we're going to use a lot of three wides, so no matter who starts, there will be a lot of balls to go around for everybody."

Wide receivers coach Wes Chandler made the same point while emphasizing that the starting job is still on the line.

"Honestly, it's one of those situations where it could go either way," Chandler said. "It's still open. In the end, there will be a guy, but it's not like the other guy is going to disappear. The other guy will still be a big part of what we do."

Taylor and Robinson are taking this final exhibition test pretty much in stride.

Pressure? What pressure?

"Starting means what?" Robinson asked. "Your name is first on the list? We might start a game in three wides, so I don't get caught up too much in that. It doesn't make a difference at all, especially in this offense."

Including playoffs, Robinson caught nine touchdown passes while starting nine games last season, so he's proof that there are more important things in this offense than who lines up for the opening snap.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

These guys are all saying the right thing but the reality is that starting means a LOT to fantasy football players. For all of the Peyton Manning press last season, the Vikings had the #1 passing offense in the league with 4754 passing yards and 39 passing TDs. With Moss now a Raider, the #2 guy behind Burleson is going to be a legitimate starting fantasy WR. Our bet is that former first round pick Travis Taylor finishes the season as the #2 guy in Minnesota and Troy Williamson will challenge Robinson for the #3 slot.

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3. NO - Saints On the Road For The Season?

Clipped from: Rocky Mountain News article, 8/31/05

Clipped from: article by Mark Maske and Thomas Heath 9/1/05

The New Orleans Saints and the NFL prepared yesterday for the possibility that the team might have to spend the entire season away from its hurricane- and flood-ravaged city.

With the Superdome, the Saints' home field, damaged by Hurricane Katrina and the mayor of New Orleans saying he did not expect the city to "be functional for two or three months," a team spokesman said it had become "very apparent" that the club will have to play at least a portion of its home schedule elsewhere. The spokesman, Greg Bensel, said it is conceivable that the Saints won't be able to play at the Superdome all season.

"We don't know the answer to that question," Bensel said by telephone from San Jose, where the Saints have been practicing this week. "Based on what city officials are saying, the future doesn't look too bright for being able to play games in New Orleans. But we just don't know right now."

The Saints plan to base their operations in San Antonio after they play their final preseason game tonight in Oakland, Calif. Team and league officials were considering several possible sites for the Saints' home games. The possibilities included San Antonio; Houston; Baton Rouge, La.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Birmingham.

Houston Texans owner Robert McNair told the Bloomberg news service that he offered the Saints the use of Reliant Stadium, but he expected the club to try to play in Baton Rouge instead.

Bensel said he expects Saints and NFL representatives to spend the weekend going over possible venues and their availability on the dates of scheduled games. Saints players are scheduled to be off Friday through Sunday to deal with personal issues before beginning the work Monday of readying for the club's Sept. 11 regular season opener at Carolina.

"We're going to go to San Antonio and set up our operations," Bensel said. "The players will have a few days off to try to deal with their families, deal with their situations at home and try to get their families to San Antonio, and then we'll go to work next week to prepare for the season. We're talking to the league office and looking at conflict dates with certain sites, and trying to figure out what we're going to do."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

First thing that goes without saying (but I'll say anyway): There are much bigger problems in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast than where the Saints will play. But this is an email list for Fantasy Football news and the reality is that Katrina has impacted the New Orleans football team. The Saints are in for a long season and it is likely going to be difficult for them. If they play in San Antonio or College Station or Baton Rouge, it won't be exactly like a home game, but it won't be like an away or even neutral field. So that's not a giant factor. Dealing with losing people close to you, an uprooted family and the loss of your home is a bigger issue. Although there are plenty of players in the league who'll be dealing with that who don't play for the Saints. Be mindful of that when drafting guys from New Orleans this season. But bottom line, these guys are pros and I don't expect it to be a huge factor with their performance.

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4. MIA - RB Ricky Williams Suspension Begins

Clipped from: article by Jeff Darlington 9/1/05

After midnight tonight, Dolphins running back Ricky Williams will vanish once more.

He'll no longer be seen at practices. He'll no longer attend news conferences. And he'll no longer walk the sidelines during his team's games.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

But there is one major difference between this year's disappearing act and the last one: This time his team expects him to return.

After tonight's pre-season finale against Atlanta, Williams' four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy officially will begin. He will not return until the Dolphins' game Oct. 16 at Tampa Bay.

Coach Nick Saban said he has yet to discuss a plan for Williams to maintain his physical condition, but he expects to do so in the next several days.

"We are going to effectively try to get him to be able to come back in the best possible condition and the best game readiness he can be in," Saban said. "We'll establish a plan for it, and I'm sure that he will make a commitment to the plan and do everything that he can do."

NFL spokesman Steve Alic said Williams' contact with the Dolphins would be limited. He can still attend meetings, receive treatment in the team's training room and work out at the club's facilities.

But he can't attend or watch practices, attend news conferences or appear at the stadium on game days, even as a spectator.

"In sum, players suspended for violating the substance-abuse policy are permitted some club contact to help them rehabilitate their condition," Alic said by e-mail.

The biggest downside is that Williams will not take any hits or participate in game-like scenarios for five weeks - nor will he be able to contribute to the team's offensive needs. Because the Dolphins have a bye Oct. 2, Williams' suspension actually lasts longer than four weeks.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Williams knew this was coming. He's ready to serve his time. This is a golden opportunity for Ronnie Brown to secure the job for the entire season. Brown has four weeks where he is going to be the main back. If he can prove he can carry the load for the season, he may be able to keep Williams off the field when his suspension is over. Keep an eye on Brown through the first four games to see where Williams will fit in when he gets back.

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5. HOU WR Gaffney To Play

Clipped from: Dallas Morning News article by Todd Archer, 8/31/05

Jabar Gaffney said he'll breathe a huge sigh of relief after he takes a hit on Thursday night.

The receiver will play for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery. He's participated in camp and practiced on a limited, non-contact basis but won't feel confident about his shoulder until he's hit in Houston's final preseason game in Tampa.

"It's just going to be about getting out there and taking that first lick and then going from there," he said. "I just want to know that my shoulder's going to be all right once I get hit."

He's so anxious to get the first contact out of the way he said he might try to hit someone on his first play.

Gaffney, who will likely start opposite Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, had surgery on the rotator cuff of his left shoulder in March.

He wore a red jersey throughout camp to keep teammates from hitting him.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Good news for Texan fans as Gaffney should start opposite Andre Johnson this season. He's coming off his best season in the NFL (41-632, 2 TDS) and is looking to really make an impact for the Texans this season. Our current projections have him listed at #64 on the fantasy WR charts.

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6. TEN - PK Bironas May Not Have The Job

Clipped from: AP article by Teresa M. Walker 8/31/05

The Titans now have only one kicker on the roster with Monday's release of Jay Taylor, but coach Jeff Fisher said they haven't told Rob Bironas that it's his job because they plan to keep looking.

That leaves Bironas working to earn his first NFL roster spot and ignoring the pressure to keep making kicks.

"The pressure's always going to be there. It's going to be there whether you're trying to make a team, impress a coach or just trying to get some time in front of somebody," he said.

Bironas, whose family lives in Louisville, Ky., said he's got confidence in himself and his kicks.

"I'm worried about each kick each day," he said.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Gary Anderson and Aaron Elling combined for just 93 points for the Titans last season. Hopefully whoever takes over the kicking duties for the Titans would improve on that number. Although Bironas is the only kicker on the roster at this point, it's clear that Jeff Fisher doesn't want him to get too comfortable. There are a couple FA kickers out there now, and teams like Tampa Bay and Minnesota will probably release a veteran before the season starts as well. For now, Bironas is the man in Tennessee.

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7. DAL - PK Cortez Could Have Competition

Clipped article 8/31/05

Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells wants to give rookie kicker Nick Novak plenty of chances Thursday night against Jacksonville, but he isn't done searching for new competition for Jose Cortez for any means.

The Cowboys claimed Novak off waivers from the Chicago Bears on Tuesday and also put in a claim for kicker Tyler Jones, who was one of 13 players released by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

"He's gonna kick in the game if we can get down there to kick," Parcells said of Novak.

Parcells said Cortez, who missed a 31-yard field goal attempt last Saturday against Houston as the first half was expiring, might get one attempt and a kickoff against the Jaguars. Cortez became the only kicker left on the roster after the Cowboys reached an injury settlement with last year's kicker Billy Cundiff (strained quad).

But there might be more new kickers out here at Valley Ranch in the next few days.

"We have been in contact with several kickers here," Parcells said. "There would be a chance that we might try out a couple kickers here sometime over the weekend maybe."

When asked if he could envision Novak, a rookie out of Maryland, as his kicker for the Sept. 11 opener at San Diego based on one preseason performance, Parcells said, "Yeah. It's just options, what you think is best based on what you know."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

More Kicker news. Billy Cundiff, who was released by the Cowboys last week, had just 91 points last season. The Cowboys made a trade with Jacksonville to acquire Seth Marler earlier this week, but the trade was rescinded when Marler failed a physical. Cortez is still the front runner, but his job is far from safe. We'll keep you posted on who finally comes out on top.

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8. NYJ - Struggling With The New Offense

Clipped from: New York article by Mark Cannizzaro

With Chad Pennington seemingly struggling to master the Jets' new offense, Curtis Martin has chimed in regarding the intricacies of coordinator Mike Heimerdinger's system.

"It's a lot more memorization," Martin said. "Things don't flow together like normal offenses. There are a lot of things individualized, which is hard, especially at the running back and quarterback.

"In some systems, if you say 'blue,' no matter what all the other calls are, you're definitely doing one thing. Whereas in this system it's not like that. I think this offense is a little harder for a defense to figure out because it's not predictable. If you see one formation, you can say that you know they're going to run a draw. Now it could be that same formation, but we can almost run anything. You never know. It's not predictable at all."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Mike Heimerdinger's offense should help the Jets improve on a passing attack that finished 22nd in passing yards and passing TDS, 25th in completions and 29th in attempts. But it might not happen overnight. Heimerdinger came to Tennessee for the 2000 season. In his first season, the Titans actually DROPPED in passing yards (from 3622 to 3430) and passing TDs (from 23 to 18.) However, in 2001 the Titans racked up 3867 passing yards and 23 passing TDS. Will the Jets have the same learning curve? It's hard to say at this point, but the early indications are not good. Over the first three pre-season games, the Jets rank dead last in passing with just 96.3 yards and 23.7 pass attempts per game. They have just two passing TDs and have given up 11 sacks. Our current projections only give the Jets about 220 more passing yards and four more TDS than they had last season.

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9. PHI - Eagles to Rest Starters for Pre-Season Finale

Clipped from: The Washington Times AP article by Rob Maaddi 8/31/05

Maybe Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens will sit together on the bench, talk out their differences, hug and make up. They won't have much else to do Thursday night.

The Philadelphia Eagles are resting their starters in the final preseason game against the New York Jets, so McNabb and Owens could have a difficult time ignoring each other with all that extra time on their hands.

The five-time Pro Bowl quarterback and the enigmatic All-Pro receiver were impressive in their lone preseason appearance together last week against Cincinnati. In just one half, McNabb and Owens connected five times for 131 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage.

That was all coach Andy Reid needed to see to make sure his first-team offense is in sync on the field - McNabb and Owens still aren't talking to each other - for the season opener at Atlanta on Sept. 12.

"The one thing the guys have done an inch more than last year was coming out and challenging themselves even more," Reid said Wednesday. "I said this last year that they challenged themselves, but this year they have added onto that."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

More of a drama article here than anything else. At least if you're watching the game, you'll know why they aren't playing. This is a good sign fantasy wise, and it's pretty clear that Reid isn't worried about his superstars and their on-field performances. This will also give Owens a chance to rest and rehab the groin injury that he tweaked during the game against Cincinnati.

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10. DAL - QB Henson Still Not Ready. PHI - WR McCants Signed

Clipped from: ESPN.Com Team reports for Dallas Cowboys 8/31/05

Coach Bill Parcells indicated that second-year quarterback Drew Henson is not yet ready for primetime.

According to, Parcells said at his Tuesday news conference, "I think he's a young developing player. That's where he is right now. Not ready."

That's the most definitive statement Parcells has made on the former Michigan quarterback since the start of training camp, the Web site reported.

Parcells still hasn't named Drew Bledsoe's backup, but all signs point to third-year quarterback Tony Romo assuming that role.


According to's Len Pasquarelli, the Eagles are poised to add a veteran wide receiver to the roster, but it won't be Peerless Price or Peter Warrick, both of whom were released Tuesday by the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively. Instead, the Eagles huddled with veteran free agent Darnerian McCants on Wednesday, and plan to sign him after their Thursday preseason finale.

A club official said the team already has reached agreement in principle on a contract for McCants, but that he had a pass a physical exam and that there were a few other elements that had to be addressed. Additionally, coaches did not want to release a player currently on the Philadelphia roster, since McCants would not be up to speed enough to participate in Thursday's preseason game. McCants, 27, was released by the Washington Redskins earlier this week. He is a player the Eagles staff likes, and has enjoyed some success against the Philadelphia defense, with 11 catches for 149 yards and one touchdown in four appearances. A fifth-round pick of the Redskins in the 2001 draft, McCants fell out of favor with the current Washington staff, but the Eagles feel he can provide a solid No. 4 presence.

The former Delaware State standout has intriguing size (6-feet-3, 215 pounds), presents a big target, and might in time develop into a contributor in the Eagles offense. McCants has appeared in 29 games, with three starts, and has 53 receptions for 687 yards and eight touchdowns. Beyond Terrell Owens, the young wide receivers on the Eagles roster have a combined 27 catches.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Many thought that Henson would be the Man in Dallas last season. Instead, Parcells went with Vinnie Testaverde for the entire season. Testaverde is gone, but the Cowboys brought in Bledsoe during the off-season and named him the starter. Henson should have progressed enough to challenge Bledsoe this year, but he hasn't made it yet. For now Tony Romo looks like the Cowboy backup QB and Henson is a long term project that may never make an impact.

For the Eagles, McCants helps strengthen a WR corps that is young and inexperienced. While McCants probably won't beat out Greg Lewis for the starting job opposite Terrell Owens, but McCants could see the field this season if he can pick up the Eagles offense.

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DET - QB Harrington May Miss The Final Pre-Season Game

Clipped from: The Detroit article by Jim Spadofore 9/1/05

Joey Harrington didn't practice Wednesday because of a groin injury. He's questionable for Friday night's final exhibition game at Buffalo.

But Harrington doesn't look at it as a setback.

"I don't think it'll be that big of a deal," Harrington said. "I didn't play at all last year in the fourth preseason game. I think most of the starters usually don't get much more than a series or two.

"So, my concern now is getting healthy."

It's easy to see how Harrington could have aggravated the injury with all the defensive pressure the St. Louis Rams put on him Monday night.

In the three exhibition games, Harrington has completed 23-of-33 passes for 252 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Harrington said his ability to play Friday depends on how quickly his injury improves. The most important thing is, obviously, getting healthy although the Lions would like to win at least one exhibition game after their 0-3 start.

"It's something that has kind of been nagging through camp a little bit and a little bit on Monday night," Harrington said. "And now's the time to rest it."

With Harrington questionable, veteran Jeff Garcia will start at quarterback against the Bills.

"I'll take as much work as I can get," said Garcia, who is 18-of-35 passing for 185 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions in the three exhibition games. "You can always need more work."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Harrington has not been overly impressive this preseason, but he is still the starter for the Lions. The one saving grace for him is that Garcia and Orlovsky have looked worse. They have 2 TDS and 5 INTS between them, and neither has proven that they belong under center more than Harrington. This is shaping up to be a QBBC situation for the Lions this season. If you draft Harrington as your QB, you should look to pick up Garcia to insure that you have all your bases covered. With three first round WRs on the field, whoever is under center for the Lions is going to have a ton of offensive weapons.

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12. IDP - IND DT Corey Simon Signs With Colts

Clipped from: The Washington Times AP article by Steve Herman 9/1/05

The Indianapolis Colts, hoping to fix their one glaring weakness, reached a multiyear agreement Thursday with Corey Simon, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle released by Philadelphia in a contract dispute.

Simon wanted a long-term deal with Philadelphia and refused to sign a one-year franchise tender. The Eagles removed the franchise tag on the former first-round draft pick Sunday, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The Colts were quick to pounce.

"You can chase a lot of these guys, but if they don't have a motivation, you're usually spinning your wheels," Colts coach Tony Dungy said after Thursday's practice. "When we talked to him early on, it was evident we were one of the places he was truly interested in. We felt we had something good to offer, and he felt the same way."

The negotiations didn't take long.

Roosevelt Barnes, Simon's agent, said he finished the deal with Colts president Bill Polian on Thursday morning and that Simon, who has 32 sacks in his five-year NFL career, would probably be in Indianapolis on Friday for a physical. Dungy said Simon might join the team in Cincinnati for the final preseason game Friday night, but he would not play.

"It's going to be different for him," Dungy said. "We play a completely different style than Philadelphia. He's going to have to get used to that, get used to our terminology. It's not going to be the type of thing where he's going to come in and all of a sudden everything's going to click for us. We've got to get him going.

"He played in a system similar to this at Florida State, so it'll be a little bit of muscle memory. But he'll help us very quickly, I think."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Take note of coach Dungy stressing the different styles, but Simon is an excellent fit for the Colts and should move right into the starting lineup. His contract dispute with the Eagles becomes solid gold for the Colts who will love his Pro Bowl presence in the middle of the defensive line. The Colts had 45 sacks last season but gave up over 243 yards per game (28th). Simon's IDP stats have declined since his rookie season, but he is still good for five or six sacks a season.

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13. IDP - IND LB Kendyll Pope Suspended for One Year

Clipped from: The Washington AP article by Michael Marot 8/31/05

The Indianapolis Colts expected linebacker Kendyll Pope to make a contribution this season, but they'll have to wait at least one more year to get him on the field.

Pope was suspended for the season by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Pope missed all but two games in 2004 because of a hip flexor injury.

"We'll do as much as we can to help Kendyll get through this, but it's a situation where he has to satisfy the league," coach Tony Dungy said. "It's not a situation I've dealt with many times."

Neither the Colts, who announced the suspension, nor the NFL said what substance Pope had tested positive for.

The Colts put Pope on the reserve-suspended list Tuesday, but the punishment wasn't announced until Wednesday. Pope's agent, George Mavrikes, didn't immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press.

The suspension begins immediately, and Pope can't practice or play with the Colts until next August. The length of the suspension indicates the fourth round draft pick in 2004 has tested positive for a banned substance at least three times.

Colts coaches thought Pope fit well in their defense, which favors speed. Despite missing most of last season and being slowed again during training camp by a shoulder injury, the Colts liked what they were seeing from the second-year player. He had three tackles last season.

Indianapolis projected Pope as a solid contributor who could add depth to a young linebacking corps, and he appeared to be making progress.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Pope was a 4th round pick last season out of Florida State. His suspension probably won't change your IDP draft strategy very much, but it does weaken the depth of the Colts LB corps.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great day and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.


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