At the latest Pro Day, former ‘Canes and now NFL players, Santana Moss, Andre Johnson, Clinton Portis, Jerome McDougal and Edgerrin James. James talked about his new status as a franchise player for the Indianapolis Colts.
The Pro Bowl running back is a non-exclusive franchise player, which means James could accept a one-year deal from the Colts worth a little more than $8 million—a 20 percent raise from his salary last season—try to work out a long-term deal with the Indianapolis or sign with another team.
"Everybody is trying to push me to Miami, but in the end, I just want to get a nice deal," James said. "If it is here, or anywhere, let's get it done. With Drew, anything is possible and I know I got the right man to make it happen."
When asked if it would be hard to leave the Colts, James said, "It was hard to leave the University of Miami, that was the hardest thing. Once you get over leaving the University of Miami, you can leave anywhere."
James thought that recent UM running back, Frank Gore, impressed the scouts. Gore ran his 40-yards in the high 4.5's and looked slim at 208 pounds.
"I did not see him, but I heard he worked out real good," James said. "To see a guy go from 233 to 208, it shows that he has been working. I started working out here and I see him running around. It is two different guys from during the season to now. He has time to get himself together and he is going to do real good."
James' advised Gore is to not worry where he is drafted, all that matters is how he produces in the NFL.
"Look at Clinton Portis," James said. "He showed everybody what he is capable of doing and after two years he got the biggest deal at that time in NFL history. Just get yourself in position to play should be the main focus."
Last season was one of James' most productive years. The running back rushed for 1548-yards and averaged a career best 4.6-yards-per-carry. When asked if age is an issue for him, James said:
"When you look at the NFL, you see Curtis Martin leading the league. I got the experience. I have only had one injury, and since the knee injury I have run for 2000 total yards. I do not have that much wear and tear. I am not somebody who is beat up. I am there at practice everyday. I know how to take care of myself now, and that was the benefit of having that injury."
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