News: Eatman: Eyeing the AFL

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Hostile, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Nick Eatman Staff Writer
    June 28, 2004, 4:33 p.m. (CDT)

    IRVING, Texas -- With the Dallas Desperados right under their nose, the Cowboys certainly had some interest in possibly signing arena-league standout Bobby Sippio.

    However, several other NFL teams did as well.

    But the Miami Dolphins were the first to do so, signing Sippio to a one-year deal over the weekend.

    Sippio exploded onto the AFL scene this past season, conducting one of the best rookie campaigns in the league, catching 75 passes for 1,218 yards and 32 touchdown catches. He also played linebacker and defensive back for the Desperados, recording 28 tackles, two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

    He might have been new to the AFL, but not the indoor game. In 2003, Sippio was named af2 (Arena League 2) Ironman of the Year, while playing for the Greensboro Prowlers. That year, he had 57 catches for 1,009 yards and 27 touchdowns, along with 66 tackles and five picks on defense.

    Sippio joins a Dolphins receiving corps that includes David Boston, Chris Chambers, Derrius Thompson, J.R. Tolver and David Wilkins.

    If the Dolphins end up releasing Sippio, and he is not signed by another NFL team, his rights will retain with the Desperados, making him free to return to the squad for another season.

    Last year, Desperados quarterback Jim Kubiak signed with the Colts, before he was released at the end of training camp. Kubiak was scheduled to return as the Desperados starting quarterback before a neck injury forced him to miss the entire 2004 season. The Desperados released Kubiak, who was later signed by Detroit.

    The Desperados also thought they could be without WR/DB Will Pettis, who spent a week with the New Orleans Saints last year, before he was released.

    In fact, the Cowboys originally signed Pettis, hoping he would clear a 10-day waiver period. NFL rules state teams with dual ownership of both NFL and AFL franchises (Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans), can only sign their own players after they clear 10 days of waivers. The Saints ended up signing Pettis nine days after the Cowboys had put in their claim.

    And that would've been the case for Sippio this year, had the Cowboys put in a claim before June 9. After that deadline, the waiver period is reduced from 10 days to just 24 hours.

    And that is when the Cowboys might have had more interest in signing Sippio, although several NFL teams have been eyeing the 6-3, 215-pound receiver since the end of the AFL season.

    But Sippio is still considered a raw prospect, having played mostly cornerback in college. At Western Kentucky, Sippio started three years at cornerback, recording 19 interceptions.

    But with Sippio now off the board, the Cowboys might have interest again in Pettis, who had an even better season this year with the Desperados.

    Pettis earned All-Arena League second-team honors, as well as a spot on the AFL Ironman Team.

    Pettis, who finished fifth for the AFL's U.S. Army Ironman of the Year award, put together one of the best all-around seasons in the league this spring. He finished the season as the only player in the AFL with more than 3,000 all-purpose yards (3,017) - more than 300 yards ahead of the next player.

    He ranked ninth in the league in catches (95), tied for 16th in receiving yards (1,076), 16th in total yards from scrimmage (1,112), 14th in kickoff return average (14.4), first in kickoff return yards (1,750 - fifth best in league history), seventh in missed field goal return average (19.3), fourth in MFG return yards (135) and 14th in combined kickoff/MFG return average (19.8). He also registered a career-high 37.5 tackles, a career-high eight passes defensed and an interception.

    And with the NFL expanding its practice squad rosters from five players to eight, there could be more room for a player such as Pettis, who likely needs time to develop as a receiver. Like Sippio, Pettis also played cornerback at college, two seasons in a Georgia Junior College, and then a season each at the University of Houston and Midwestern State University in Texas.

    Because the Cowboys have yet to solidify their return game, Pettis could be a viable option, having returned four kickoffs for touchdowns this past season.
  2. JBell523

    JBell523 That's still my Quarterback

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    6'3, 215 sounds pretty good..

    Might be slow though, although Im just basing this on his 40 time (which we all know means basically nothing)

    4.69 in the 40-yard dash…37-inch vertical jump…Bench presses 225 pounds 12 times…33-inch arm length…8 ¾-inch hands.
  3. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Was cut early in camp two years ago by Cowboys? believe so.

    Not our answer.
  4. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    No, he was picked up last year then released by the Saints.
  5. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Saints Claim AFL Product, Offseason Notes

    posted June 23, 2003 - print me!

    Will Pettis
    Pettis Signed

    The Saints claimed athlete Will Pettis off of the transactional list over the weekend, signing him to a minimum deal away from the Arena League's Dallas Desperados. Pettis, 6'0, 195, who played cornerback and receiver, will likely be given a shot at special teams as a wide receiver. Pettis, 25, had 69 catches and three interceptions for the Desperados as one of many two-way players in the indoor league.

    Pettis was at one point a starting cornerback at the University of Houston before being suspended for a season for smoking marijuana. Instead of sitting out he transferred to tiny Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, ended up in the Arena Football League 2 and worked his way into the AFL and was a standout rookie this past season.

    The Dallas Cowboys, who signed Pettis to a minimum deal, had to wait 10 days before acquiring him due to NFL rules concerning signing players out of the AFL, which just ended its season. All 31 other teams had a chance to sign Pettis in those 10 days away from the Cowboys, and the Saints acted.

    Fringe guy at best - reminds me of McCullough who was a hot AFL prospect a few years back. He's been cut since by 6 to 7 teams.......
  6. Dale

    Dale Forum Architect

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    During the NFL season last year, Pettis pointed towards the Cowboys field and said to me he'd been told he'd be "out there with those guys come next year." We'll see if he was right, I guess.
  7. Smith22

    Smith22 Well-Known Member

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    If they see him possibly developing into a decent/solid WR, then I would give him a shot. If he is looked at as only a return guy, I wouldn't waste my time. I think we have enough bodies to compete for returns spots already.
  8. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    I like these longshots to root for. Will he beat out a Newson rookie type? I don't believe so but lets rumble!
  9. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    This from a guy who wants to turn a FB into a linebacker. :D Just playin' Nors.
  10. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Never say never - OgObuGo is playing some now at standing LB! THAT WAS LAUGHED AT TOO!

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