James-to-Miami rumors start
Polian says running back is staying
The Colts' Edgerrin James can become a free agent after the season. -- Matt Kryger / The Star
By Mike Chappell
July 28, 2004
The Indianapolis Colts have the cure for what ails the Miami Dolphins, but they're keeping it to themselves. Running back Edgerrin James is not available.
"There's no truth to it. Absolutely none," team president Bill Polian said Tuesday, emphatically squelching James-to-Miami trade speculation that surfaced in south Florida media outlets earlier this week in the aftermath of Ricky Williams' sudden decision to retire. "No talks. No trade."
The Miami Herald reported Monday that James told "numerous people he would love to be traded to the Dolphins after Williams' announcement." James, who lives in Miami and spends most of his offseason in south Florida, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
One of James' advisers said the two-time league rushing champion was in "peak condition" and looking forward to the start of Colts training camp. Players report Sunday to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.
Polian traced the trade rumors to Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard, who has kept in close contact with Williams. However, Polian quickly added, "I'm the source (that counts)."
James can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2004 season. But would a team with Super Bowl aspirations part with one of its key offensive components so close to the start of training camp?
Although he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2001, James appeared to be close to pre-injury form in '03. He finished with 1,259 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing three games with broken bones in his lower back, and has 6,172 rushing yards in five seasons.
Like Polian, coach Tony Dungy summarily dismissed the notion the Colts would ship the franchise's career rushing leader to Miami.
"It's fantasy football," he said. "Miami needs a running back and Edgerrin went to the University of Miami and he lives in Miami. It would be a natural.
"But it doesn't make any sense. We're trying to win. The last I checked we're not trying to make everybody in south Florida happy (by) sending them their favorite son."
Call Star reporter Mike Chappell at (317) 444-6830.