As far as NFL celebrity is concerned, Edgerrin James might as well be an Oscar winning actor who can never land any lead roles.
When the Indianapolis Colts selected the former University of Miami running back with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft, many pundits criticized their decision to pass up on University of Texas running back Ricky Williams who went to the New Orleans Saints a pick later. Even though James was one of the most successful running backs at Miami, several media members suggested that the Colts would live to regret their decision to pass on Williams.
It would only take James a year to prove his worth, however, and in his rookie season of ‘00, he was named NFL Rookie of the Year. Williams on the other hand, struggled to even get off the ground in New Orleans and head coach Mike Ditka was eventually fired for his decision to trade away his entire draft for the somewhat troubled running back.
So much for the Colts “living to regret their decision”, huh?
Not only did James lead the league in rushing during his rookie year, he did it again his sophomore season. He has been productive in every season since his rookie year and appears he gets less and less credit. By now, people just assume that he is going to do what he does, but overlook the fact that he continues to be one of the most productive running backs in NFL history. He has been to five Pro Bowls and holds the Colts’ franchise record for career yards (9,226) and touchdowns (64).
Since he played in such a prolific offense as the one the Colts have had over the years, James often got pushed to the back burner while quarterback Peyton Manning and his high flying wide receivers take most of the credit. In the recent past, Manning and both wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne were given multi-year contracts by Indy. Instead of making him one of their other top priorities as well, James was given the franchise tag by the team, which may be for a decent sum of money, but doesn’t guarantee players a future after one year.
In ’06, James finally got the multi-year contract he coveted when he signed a four-year, $30.5 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Teamed with receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, as well as a highly touted rookie quarterback in Matt Leinart, James should have flourished last year. But due to ineffective play along the offensive line, James rushed for only 1,159 yards, his lowest yardage total since ’02. Arizona missed the playoffs yet again (the last time the team made the postseason was ’98) and head coach Denny Green was fired and replaced by former Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.In his first season under Whisenhunt, James was steady, rushing for 1,222 yards and seven touchdowns. Arizona failed to make the postseason yet again, however.
Arizona Cardinals: Edgerrin James
The official website of the Arizona Cardinals provides a complete bio on their newly acquired running back as well as stats and a highlight section and career stats.
NFL.com Player Profile: Edgerrin James
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Edgerrin James NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Edgerrin James
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Edgerrin James for your fantasy football team.
Edgerrin James Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Edgerrin James’ life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Latest on James
Even though it was a small jump, James did improve on his rushing totals in his second year with the Cardinals. He rushed for 1,222 yards on 324 carries and also finished with seven touchdowns. Once again, James proved his durability by playing in all 16 games.
News and Commentary
Cardinals Notebook: Edge feels good after surgery
Edgerrin James took part in the Cardinals first mini camp of the ’07 season. It was a good sign seeing as how James had minor knee surgery after the ’06 regular season.
Changes loom for Cardinals' James
Part of the reason Edgerrin James signed with Arizona in '06 was because of head coach Denny Green. But Green was fired after the '06 regular season and now that Ken Whisenhunt is the new front man in 'Zona, potential changes are looming for James.
James’ Arizona deal totals $11.5M in bonuses
The deal that brought Edgerrin James to AZ broke Indy fans’ hearts and the Cardinals organization’s wallet.
Rookie of the Year: Edgerrin James
Ricky Williams? Who’s that, Indianapolis obviously made the right decision to select Edgerrin James in the 1999 NFL Draft. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year in January ‘00.
On signing with the Cardinals:
"It's a great situation. All they really need is a back. They've got an MVP quarterback [Kurt Warner], they've got two Pro Bowl receivers. They got a back and they're going to shore up the offensive line."
On winning Rookie of the Year honors:
"I want to make my mark in the NFL. This is the highest level, and this is where it goes down in history. I want to play as many years as I am able, so I wanted to get here and make plays and play.
On taking a rest during the season:
"Rest? I'll rest when I'm through playing football. Right now, it's just a groove that we're in, and we just want to keep going.”