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Colts lock up Harrison

Old 12-08-04, 07:53 PM
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Colts lock up Harrison

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1942016

The Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday achieved their second contract milestone of the season, reaching agreement on a seven-year, $67 million extension with wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

Harrison, who was scheduled to enter free agency after this season, is guaranteed $22 million between now and 2006 and received a $6 million signing bonus. He is making $5.56 million this season.

Earlier this year, the Colts locked up quarterback Peyton Manning with a seven-year, $98 million deal that included a $34 million signing bonus.

Harrison, 32, is considered one of the best receivers in the league and is the focal point of the Colts' powerful offense. He draws consistent double coverage and allows Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley to excel against single coverage.

The structure of Harrison's contract will allow enough flexibility for the Colts to try to find a way to keep running back Edgerrin James. There is a $7 million roster bonus that can be converted into a signing bonus in order to lower Harrison's cap number in 2005 to around only $3.2 million.

There also is a $10 million flexible roster bonus that can be converted into signing bonus to help the salary cap in 2006.

The Harrison deal is considered the best ever given to a wide receiver. Randy Moss had the previous best deal for a player at the position, an eight-year, $75 million contract that included $18 million in guarantees.

The surprising part about Harrison's contract is that he received it at age 32. Though many top receivers have some of their best seasons in their 30s, a lot of teams don't like giving big-money deals to older receivers.

The Colts had no problem doing this because Harrison has been such a valuable part of their offense along with the fact he is one of the best-conditioned athletes on the team.

Negotiations concluded Tuesday night and the deal was sent into the league office Wednesday morning for approval. Once it was approved, it went into the league's salary cap system.

Harrison's agent, Tom Condon, was unavailable for comment.

Condon also negotiated Manning's deal, which was the most given to any quarterback.

Along with James, Stokley will be among the Colts' next targets for re-signing. He's a free agent after this season.

Although the contract technically has $23 million of guarantees, the deal counts only as $22 million because the Colts lowered $1 million of his remaining contract to fit it into this year's cap.
Old 12-08-04, 08:28 PM
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Since Harrison new deal is cap friendly, will Indy still try to lock up James?

However, is evident that they still need help at D or will they tie up all the cap with their offense. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Old 12-08-04, 08:32 PM
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Good. Keep Harrison, Manning, James, Stokely, and a shitty defense.
Old 12-08-04, 09:54 PM
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A lot of cash to pay out over the next two years.
Old 12-08-04, 10:40 PM
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I dont see Stonley staying. Giving the potential he's shown in Indy and in the Super Bowl w/ Baltimore, I see a team in need of Wrs offering him a nice contract and a 1 or 2 slot, somethin Indy just cant do. I still wouldnt be positive that this extra loot w/ Harrison's contract structure means they keep Edge. They need so much help for Dwight Freeney on D. As good as he is now, imagine if they had to play him more honestly without as much double teams? That extra loot might go towards defense and Edge still might end up in Miami. W/o Edge would be tough but they have a good O-Line and decents backs in Mungro and Rhodes. They can also look for an RB in the draft or a cheaper back in Free Agency.As amazing as they are on O, in the playoffs champions are born with 4th quarter stops on defense.
Old 12-08-04, 11:11 PM
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The next coming of Aikman, Irvin and Smith?

Uh, how many Super Bowl rings does Manning, Harrison and James have? Exactly.
Old 12-09-04, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by POWERBOMB
The next coming of Aikman, Irvin and Smith?

Uh, how many Super Bowl rings does Manning, Harrison and James have? Exactly.
Ask that question at the end of their careers, not now. Michael Jordan didn't start winning titles until his 6th or 7th season.
Old 12-09-04, 08:00 AM
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Edge is going home. He loves South Florida. And he will get a chance to score in South Florida.
Old 12-09-04, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by B.A.
... And he will get a chance to score in South Florida.

Have you seen the Dolphins O-line lately? :wink:
Old 12-09-04, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by POWERBOMB
The next coming of Aikman, Irvin and Smith?

Uh, how many Super Bowl rings does Manning, Harrison and James have? Exactly.

Those 3 had something called a defense to help them win rings. Just because Manning, Harrison, and James don't have any rings doesn't mean that they are worse than that Dallas 3-some. I would certainly take Manning and Harrison over their Dallas counterparts.

Also you are comparing pre-salary cap era vs salary cap era. Huge difference.
Old 12-09-04, 09:01 AM
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Indy will never win a superbowl if they don't get some defense.

U can win regular season games sure, but once you hit the playoffs it's hard to win on offense alone.
Old 12-09-04, 11:46 AM
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first off, i'm not sure i like this move. sure he is one of the best WR in the NFL... but 7 years? he's going to be like 33 next season... so they have him locked till he's 40? would losing him make the colts that much worse? i'm not sure it would.

and as for james, he has been playing well... but mungro and rhodes both played well the last couple years when james was out, so whats to say another back couldn't perform well with that line and with the threat of payton?

maybe they woudl be better investing in some d. peyton could still probably put up 30 w/out harrison AND james.
Old 12-09-04, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by moorehed
first off, i'm not sure i like this move. sure he is one of the best WR in the NFL... but 7 years? he's going to be like 33 next season... so they have him locked till he's 40? would losing him make the colts that much worse? i'm not sure it would.

1. Players who have long-term contracts never play under the duration of the contract. They are always backloaded - the yearly base salaries. This contract is effectively a 4 or 5 year contract probably worth $30-40M over that time.

2. WRs have a very long shelf-life in the NFL. Keep in mind that, much like Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison is not a burner. He is more known for his shiftiness, hands, and ability to run precise routes. Like Rice, I don't see him declining until after he turns 40.

I think losing Harrison would hurt the Peyton Manning and the Colts a lot. He is the man responsible for allowing Wayne and Stokley to flourish.
Old 12-09-04, 12:20 PM
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i agree with you somewhat...

i am just not a fan of giving guys huge long term contracts when it looks like they may have already peaked.

i agree losing him would probably not be good either...

i just wonder if a couple def players might be a bit more important at this point. i mean hell, you don't even need a whole defense... just a decent corner or 2 and maybe a safety. for all intensive purposes they could ignore their run defense... teams playing vs them are always going to have to be passing ot have any chance to catch up points wise.
Old 12-09-04, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by moorehed
i just wonder if a couple def players might be a bit more important at this point. i mean hell, you don't even need a whole defense... just a decent corner or 2 and maybe a safety. for all intensive purposes they could ignore their run defense... teams playing vs them are always going to have to be passing ot have any chance to catch up points wise.

Maybe, maybe not. At least with Harrison, it is no gamble - you know what you are getting.

Now I would seriously question signing Edge to a long-term contract like the ones Portis and Tomlinson have. He's having an excellent year, but the shelf-life of a RB is far shorter.
Old 12-09-04, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Those 3 had something called a defense....
Dallas' defense was very good, but it's players were interchangable during those awesomely great Cowboy years. Plus the coaching staff was phenominal. And it was during a time when the NFC was a very tough division.

I think the Colts problem is that the coaching staff isn't as good as it can be (or maybe they have peaked and this is the best it can do) and the AFC has really become the toughest division. With heavyweights like the Patriots and newcomers like the Steelers, the Colts look like they are standing still.
Old 12-10-04, 12:36 PM
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I hate to say it, but I wouldn't keep James. I've always liked Mungro and Rhodes, and let's face it, the life of a running back is short and James is getting pretty far down it. Ditch James, play Mungro and Rhodes. The offensive line is good enough that they should be able to put up decent numbers.

I like Stokley and would hate to loose him. I've never liked Pollard; he just seems to drop the ball too much. Clark seems like a decent guy, but he doesn't seem to get much use.

So,

Drop James, rely on Mungro, Rhodesm and the o-line.
Use the money to try and keep Stokley, and beef up the defense.
Old 12-10-04, 05:32 PM
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Fact is, if you pay Manning as much as you did, your top priority is keeping that guy happy, and signing Harrison does that.
Old 12-10-04, 05:39 PM
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If the team doesn't resign James (and mind you there will almost certainly at least get compensation if they don't), I suspect they would turn to the draft to fill the void. Rhodes and Mungro aren't the answer. Besides, this year's draft should be quite deep at RB. But I suspect they will keep James. I mean he still has several good year left in him, or at least he should.
Old 12-12-04, 01:33 PM
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James and his back-ups have almost proven to be interchangeable throughout the past couple of seasons, before this season of course. It wouldn't make any sense to give him a large contract.

Now that they have two great young defensive lineman in Mathis and Freeney they are only a decent linebacker away from having at least a capable defense.

Back to the how many rings do they have comment. Let's wait until after this year and they hopefully will be a little bit closer to those three rings.

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